Dancing With Mars...?



Crazy stunts.

Questionable talent.

Facing fears.







Faux celebrities.

Weight loss.

You name it, there is "reality TV" programming around it.

Video, web, mobile, print, Omni-Channel... the latest babble term.

And yes -- full confession -- I am as guilty as any of dipping in. Participating. Imbibing the brew. Mesmerized while I ask out loud, how could anyone watch this trash?

And by the way, I point out to all those who struggle to monetize the various "digital" lives, game changing and platforms -- all are supported by, yes, advertising, and all are, heavens, TV (across all screens -- get it?) based.

However, all pale in insignificance -- seriously -- in light of the most audacious reality TV idea I have seen yet -- and that is to send a group of people to Mars by 2023.

To be fair, we are already acquainted with commercial space travel -- Richard Branson of Virgin inspired us with this vision long ago, while SpaceX and other companies have expanded the field and the vision. By the way, it will all happen.

But Bas Lansdorp has gone a step further, and tapped into the global psyche for total voyeurism so brilliantly chronicled in The Truman Show:

"One point seven billion were there for his birth. 220 countries tuned in for his first step. The world stood still for that stolen kiss. And as he grew, so did technology. An entire human life - recorded on an intricate network of hidden cameras and broadcasted live and uninterrupted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to an audience around the globe."

Bas, a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur, plans to create a "worldwide, multiyear reality television show" that would begin with the selection of the astronauts and chronicle every detail of their mission and onwards, culminating in their establishment of a permanent settlement on Mars.

Bottom line, he calculates he needs $6 billion to make this happen -- and he cites the Olympics, which, between 2009 and 2012, recorded some $5 billion in revenue, almost $4 billion of which came from TV rights. And of course we know that reality TV generates crazy profits for all the broadcasters. By the way -- we haven't even begun to discuss licensing... the T-shirts alone...

While some are skeptical of his goal of financing by broadcast right, I'd say he is onto something big -- 600 million people (including me) watched Neil Armstrong land and walk on the moon -- and that was on black and white and relatively small screens by today's standards. Iif only NASA had sold that sponsorship...

Unfortunately, Lansdrop doesn't want to be compared to the Kardashians. He wants to be viewed as more serious, but that cat is out of the bag -- and by the way, we do take them seriously....

So there you have it -- the latest advance in science and technology in our world, once again being fueled by ADVERTISING. I love it.

So will it be successful? You tell me -- but let me return to The Truman Show. Listen:

Christof: Cue the sun!

However, I end with one caveat and the final Truman scene and the biggest warning to Bas.. Listen:

[Last lines]

Security Guard 1: You want another slice?

Security Guard 2: No, I'm OK.

Security Guard 1: What else is on?

Security Guard 2: Yeah, let's see what else is on.

Security Guard 1: Where's the TV guide?

And that's when the sponsors run. So be ready with your own idea -- the universe is the limit... and beyond... and the advertisers are waiting....

What do you think?

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