It isn’t often that I can write about marketing innovation in government. After all, the bureaucracy tends to suffocate innovation. Plus, it can be hard to make things like soil conservation cool (full disclosure – I once served as the chief of staff at the agency in charge of soil conservation). 

But, when you are NASA, it is easier to be cool. Even considering that though, I have to say kudos to the Send Your Name to Mars campaign. I mean, who wouldn’t want to send their name on the Mars rover. As of this writing, 10,703,733 people signed up. They gave their name and email address to NASA, and optionally signed up for updates on NASA, in order to have their name etched on a microchip that is tagging along on the next Mars rover. 

So, now, for the price of a website, some marketing automation, and whatever it costs to etch millions of names on a microchip, NASA has 10 million+ people following and sharing about the Mars rover because they have a vested interest in it. And they have likely millions more names to share other NASA news with. 

Well played, NASA, well played. 

NASA Mars boarding pass