Our diamond of the week takes the form of a marketing stunt by Bebo and RDF Digital. They decided to get a group together with the aim of sending 500 messages into space towards Gliese 581c. The idea is that any inhabitants of this planet will receive, understand and reply to the message in the lifespan of the Bebo contributors (2050). The message was beamed off in October 2008 and has 119 trillion miles to travel – so about 20 years (just shy of the time it takes to travel from Junction 26 to 16 of the M8 in rush hour).
This stunt seems to have captured the imaginations of contributors with 501 messages eventually being beamed up, 4,510 friends currently on the Bebo page and 7817 submissions.
Why we like it
What we admire is the sheer amount of exposure the team have managed to gain through the social networking of this stunt including (among many other things) :
Danny Wallace of XFM advertising it on his show.
The team broadcasting from Disneyland Resort Paris.
The BBC went out with the team to cover the sending of the message and covered the Message on BBC Breakfast.
Cast of Holloyoaks created a message.
Even Patrick Moore took time to create a message.
The other thing we like is that they have managed to create a marketing opportunity has the potential to span pretty much 50 years what with the launch, tracking progress, the message arriving and with any luck – one coming back! In Primary School we had to create an old fashined Message from Earth (a time capsule under a castle floor!) and every now and again I remember it. There were 40 kids in my Primary, imagine how many of the 4,510 Bebo followers will remember this Message from Earth.
They may have received some critisicm over the idea but how many other marketing stunts can you think of that span the 50 year mark?