2018 in Review
The holiday season is firmly behind us and we have big plans for 2019, but today we wanted to stop and take a look at some of the most interesting launches we conducted over the past twelve months.
Children in Need
A small but important percentage of our launches each year are dedicated to promoting charitable organisations. The highlight this year was working with BBC’s Countryfile to advertise their brilliant Children In Need bobble hats. They’re just as warm and soft as you’d expect and we particularly like the way the low sun and the fuzzy clouds in this image really make the striking Pudsey-yellow colour pop.
No matter what we’re launching and how complex the setup, one consistent challenge is finding the perfect angle to present our feature item. In a unique business like ours, broad skillsets are a must– engineering prowess goes hand in hand with a creative mindset. Launching a stroller was a serious technical challenge, but we’re really happy with the result, as were Ergobaby.
I am Neil Armstrong
Ordinary people change the world. That’s the theme of author Brad Meltzer’s picture book biographies for children. Previous entries have covered the lives of Jane Goodall, Albert Einstein, Hellen Keller, Martin Luther King and a host of other inspirational figures. When presented with the story of Neil Armstrong, how could we not want to send it up?
Jameson’s Space-Aged Whiskey
Did you know you can age whiskey by sending it to space? Sounds unbelievable? That’s because it’s a complete fabrication – one that we concocted with Jameson to celebrate April Fools’ Day. Although the tale about the whiskey being aged during the flight was fictitious, we did actually launch several crates of bottles bearing the specially designed label, which were distributed to mixologists at some of the world’s most prestige bars.
Sticking with the theme of adult beverages, we had great fun launching a bottle of champagne for the international winery guide company Kazzit. The deserts of Arizona made a fantastic backdrop for the moment that the sudden pressure change during the descent caused the cork to explode from the bottle. The fizz that followed froze mid-arc into champagne slush, but enough remained in the bottle on landing to have a celebratory toast.
KOVEN Reality Reach EP
If you’re looking for attention-grabbing ways to launch a record, look no further than our flight for KOVEN. Rather than simply release the tracks in a playlist, KOVEN wanted to create an immersive audio-visual experience and asked us if we could help. We used our cutting-edge 360° space-qualified camera system to film the flight, which our editing team turned into a riotous, kaleidoscopic video set to the full tracklist.
Seeing the Earth from space is fascinating partly because it offers us a unique perspective on our place in the universe, giving context that reminds us how small we are by comparison. Well, when we launched for John Mason International, many of our followers got in touch, worried about the safety considerations of putting a full-size shipping container into space. Of course, this is a 15cm-long model! A funny reminder of the importance of perspective.
Mojito in space – Pampa Plage
Since the viral launch of a pie into space back in 2016, we’ve gained something of a reputation for launching food and drink out of this world. We’ve talked before about the challenges of launching edible substances into space; however, launching a mojito in a glass, complete with ice, lemon and lime, was on another level. Working out just how to hold everything in place took us a long time, but it was all worth it for the wonderful few days we got to spend on the sunny coast of southern France at one of the world’s best beach bars.
Presenting a range of space-themed makeup brushes in a pleasing way meant building a mounting system like none we’ve ever made before. This isn’t particularly unusual for a project, but Real Techniques is a brand founded on a strong aesthetic and we worked closely with their creative team to ensure the products shone as bright as possible.
Ryan Taylor – Silver Play Button
We’ve worked with BMX star and YouTube personality Ryan Taylor a few times over the years and featured in several videos on his channel. When he passed 100,000 subscribers, he reached out to us and asked if we could help him celebrate by launching it into space. We were happy to help… and then it took YouTube nearly a year to send it to him. Despite the delay, though, everyone was thrilled with the result – and maybe when his Gold play button arrives (he’s already hit 1 million subs) we’ll be meeting up again.
YouTube Originals - Origin
Our 360-camera system came in useful more than once last year. YouTube asked us to make a video showing off an exclusive preview of their Premium original sci-fi show starring Tom Felton. Playing a video in space is challenging for a number of reasons, but over the years we’ve perfected the process – even if a little post-production touch-up was necessary to increase the brightness of the video so viewers could actually enjoy it!