Marketing Space: Conversations With A NASA Visual Strategist

Marketing Space: Conversations With A NASA Visual Strategist
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

Chris Edwards, director of programming and content at Ad:Tech – an exhibition of marketing, technology and media – sat down with NASA visual strategist, Dan Goods to figure out how on earth he goes about marketing outer space.

Goods’s philosophy is all about creating moments in people’s lives where they can interact with something beautiful, meaningful, and profound. He works for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he heads up a creative strategy team developing everything from art pieces that expose people to the wonders of the universe to brainstorming NASA missions of the future. His work is seen in public spaces, art museums and  outer space.

Q: What role does experience play in marketing space?

I think we all gravitate towards moments that are special and unique. If you’re in retail and you’re just creating a normal store, people may not think one way or the other about you, but if you create an experience, you’ll stand out. The difference between watching something online where millions can see it versus going into a physical space where there’s physicality and your other senses are activated. There’s something about that. You have to ask yourself, do you want to impact lots of people in a little way or less people in a bigger way?

Q: You’re working at NASA jet propulsion labs as their lead visual strategist, how do you get a bunch of people in white coats excited about infra-red lights and multimedia platforms to show what space is like?

My way of telling stories is different to their way of telling stories. They work on really complicated stuff and if you can’t tell your story, you can’t get funding and miscommunication can occur. They could see that I can tell stories in a way that is meaningful. Whenever JPL is trying to win a new mission, I’m involved in the pitches and there are some really high stakes, like a $500 million or $1 billion mission. I want us to be known as a place of creative insights.

Q: How did you prove to a group of white coat propeller heads – being a visual artist – that you were of value to them?

I was shocked that they said, “show us what you can do”, so I got to work. A few people were wondering who I was and wondering what an artist was doing working there and why they were paying him money, but over time they saw I had a true respect for what they were doing and once they saw what I was doing, they started having a respect for me too. In the last couple of years, my role has really taken off, I have all these extra people working for me.

Q: What is a visual strategist?

I deal with experiences, whether it’s a printed piece or an art piece, whether it’s the flow through a building, or a new facility. Those are various things we work on – anything with a visal sense to it. It’s also about helping a person to understand their environment better.

Q: Do you pinch yourself when you see people experience something you created?

We worked on these exoplanet posters. They’re in CNN, Newsweek, Gizmodo, The Verge. So we’ve been finding all these planets, but it’s tricky to find them. We came up with an idea – we loved the travel posters from the 30s and 40s – so we thought, what if we made travel posters to planets? We did one and it’s headline was: Where Your Shadow Has Company.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.06.29 pm

Q: When people experience these posters, what do you want them to do next?

It’s amazing how people actually get into them. On one level, they think they’re cool but then they start thinking, why in the world are our trees green? Because somewhere else in the universe, if there was grass, it wouldn’t be green. It’s really about getting people interested in the universe. I like creating experiences where people have a moment of awe about the universe we live in. We talk about this thing called, ‘sneaking up on learning’ – which means creating mysterious, interesting things that people are drawn to, you may not know what it is when you first see it, but it gets you asking questions. So then you’re ripe for learning. Everything we create for NASA is all about ‘sneaking up on learning.’

Dan graduated valedictorian from the graphic design program at Art Center College of Design. He was recently selected as “One of the most interesting people in Los Angeles” by the LA Weekly. Dan currently lives in South Pasadena with his wife and three kids.

*This story wouldn’t be possible without our friends at Ad:Tech

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]