Monday, August 27, 2007

Watch this space

I know you want to hate British energy company npower for registering their corporate logo as a constellation. You want to decry the shameless commercialization of our shared night sky; you want to rail against npower for transforming the celestial sphere into a crass advertising space.

But it’s actually sort of sweet. This is no billboard-on-the-moon, neon-lights-on-the-space-station sort of thing: The company just mentally connected a group of stars (328, to be exact) to spell out “npower,” phoned up the International Star Registry, and bought a spot for their new “constellation” in the ISR’s book, “Your Place in the Cosmos.”

It’s more the idea of an advertisement than an advertisement itself: No one will see npower’s skywriting unless they want to. If only all advertising were so obliging.

(Incidentally, the International Star Registry has no official license to name astronomical objects, so the new constellation—like the thousands of stars named in honor of sweethearts—has no official status.)

1 comment:

Dave Pearson said...

Indeed. It says nothing about the night sky, has no impact on the night sky, but it's a depressing reminder of how pointless and vacuous most advertising is.