We utilised the date of British astronaut Tim Peake reaching the halfway point of his space mission as a news hook and received an extremely positive response from the media during the sell-in even weeks before the broadcast session. To add further star power to the campaign, former NASA Astronaut and veteran of four space missions, Don Thomas, was enlisted as our lead spokesperson.
Don aspired to become an astronaut since he was six years old, having watched early astronauts like John Glenn and Neil Armstrong blasting off into space. Thirty three years later Don did exactly that. To date, Don has spent 44 days in space completing nearly 700 orbits of the Earth and traveling 17.6 million miles in the process during four separate Space Shuttle missions - three aboard Columbia and one aboard Discovery. His present role focuses on encouraging and inspiring young students to follow in his footsteps and become our next generation of scientists, engineers, astronauts, and explorers.
Don was a fascinating and engaging spokesperson which meant many of the interviews over-ran as presenters struggled to get through their plethora of questions. Crucially though, key messages were successfully delivered with ease and consistency, ensuring clear Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex branding. Referencing the Shuttle Launch simulator proved one of the many great access points to this, with presenters eager to hear more about what they could experience and what Don continues to use to get his ‘space fix’.
Following the interviews we had superb feedback from radio stations whose presenters were delighted with their discussions and the content achieved; this also meant many of the interviews received multiple airings.
The campaign achieved stellar coverage across national broadcast TV and radio stations, with highlights including Sky Sunrise, BBC Manchester, BBC Kent and BBC Solent amongst others. 38 broadcast opportunities were secured with an advertising value equivalent.