Does anyone here get as sick of advertising as I do? When I hit Youtube, I want to learn how to use Blender, watch cute animal videos and listen to the Chi-Lites sing “Have You Seen Her”. I feel like I shouldn’t have to sit through another stupid advertisement for cleaning products to do it. Okay, I get it, blue cartoon bears like soft toilet paper, and I hit the “Skip Ad” button. It’s pretty pointless.

It kind of makes me think of how much the advertising industry rakes in every year. A corporation can spend millions of dollars on a thirty-second Super Bowl ad. Celebrities with a big Twitter following can make as much as $10,000 for a single sponsored tweet. Bloggers like me try to earn revenue through affiliate programs and Pay-Per-Click advertising. The people who complain about where their tax dollars are going while paying for that Big Mac should consider how much McDonald’s spent to get them in the door. Does the fast food industry ever think that the money they spent on their latest advertising blitz could have been used to give cheeseburgers to the poor? Probably not. They’re too busy making a profit by expanding your waistline.

A Collection of Typical Super Bowl Ads

Pretty goofy, wot? And each advertiser paid $4 million to air these in the 2013 Super Bowl.

I’m not going to argue about the inequities of capitalism here. I know it’s imperfect and McDonald’s only stays in business because they can sell Happy Meals to kids who haven’t learned about eating healthy yet. However, some of those dollars could be steered to places where they can actually do some good if enough people work together to make it happen. If you have to suffer through another idiotic commercial, wouldn’t it make sense for some of those advertising dollars to serve some kind of purpose?

This is one of the reasons I like Mars One’s funding model. They’ve realized that their biggest obstacle isn’t so much technological as it is about raising the funds. They’ve seen the success of reality shows that rack in so much money for major television networks. They know that you’re going to get advertised to anyway. So why not make their operation into a media blitz where they can use corporate dollars and individual donations to fund the process of getting people to Mars.

Mars One Intro Film

Closing in on 1.4 million views and counting. To you advertisers out there, you ignore that kind of popularity at your own risk.

Everybody wins in this scenario. Big corporations and even some little guys who can’t afford the major partnerships can get in on advertising with Mars One. Space exploration moves away from the annual funding battle in the U.S. Congress and towards private organizations who don’t have to beg a fickle American public for money. (Okay, not as much, but they still don’t have to cancel projects simply because the politicians said so. And, to sweeten the deal, you can buy an official Mars One T-shirt*.) People like me get a chance to actually participate in building permanent settlements on other worlds. And people like you who want better control over where your dollars go have the pleasure of knowing that the piece of the consumer-end price tag that goes toward that logo on the Mars One site is at least going to a concrete purpose.

Pointless advertising? Well, while you’re deciding which T-shirt you want, check out the Sponsors page. The Fortune 500 companies are kind of sluffing off a prime opportunity when they could be spreading the word that they are Mars One supporters. However, you’ll find some advertisers that are pretty neat if you’re a geek. 3D printers, anyone? How about some not-so-science fiction in which humanity MUST expand to Mars to survive? These aren’t mega-corporations; these are just ordinary business-people and individuals who believe enough that Mars One can do it to actually get behind this project with their advertising dollars. I’m sure the Fortune 500 companies will come around once they realize that this is huge, but for right now, I know enough to realize that they’re missing out on a bargain.

*Disclosure: I am not being paid for that link.

Are the selections below pointless eBay advertising? You decide.

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