Doritos In Space

I’m all for the commercial use of space, but this might be a bit overboard. Back in March of this year, Ian reported on a fund raising scheme to help the United Kingdom’s physics and astronomy money woes. The scheme involved soliciting commercial companies to pay for advertising being beamed into space, supposedly directed towards potential extra terrestrial life. The manufacturer of Doritos snack chips stepped up, donating an undisclosed sum in exchange for transmitting their ad. But the Doritos people decided to turn the advertisement into a contest, and created the Doritos Broadcast Project, which invited the UK public to create a 30 second video clip that could be beamed out to the universe offering a snap shot of life on earth to anyone ‘out there’. According to a poll, 61% of the UK public believe this is just the start of communication with ET life and that we will enter into regular communication with an alien species at some stage in the future. See the winning commercial:

The winning space-ad entitled ‘Tribe’ was voted for by the British public and directed by 25-year-old Matt Bowron. It will officially be entered into the Guinness Book of Records and will be aired on the more conventional medium of television in the UK on Sunday, June 15th.

Does this really offer a “snapshot of life on Earth?” Is this the impression of ourselves we’d like to give to extraterrestrials?

The message is being pulsed out over a six-hour period from high-powered radars at the EISCAT European space station in the Arctic Circle. The University of Leicester has also been involved in the project from its inception.

EISCAT Director, Professor Tony van Eyken who will oversee the transmission said: “The signal is directed at a solar system just 42 light years away from Earth, in the ‘Ursa Major’ or Great Bear Constellation. Its star is very similar to our Sun and hosts a habitable zone that could harbor small life supporting planets similar to ours.”

Peter Charles, Head of the Doritos Broadcast Project said: “We are constantly looking to push the boundaries of advertising and this will go further than any brand has gone before. By broadcasting the winning ad to the Universe, Doritos is delivering a world first and Matt Bowron, the winner, will go down in advertising folklore. We also shouldn’t be too surprised if the first aliens start arriving on planet Earth immediately demanding a bag of Doritos.”


Dr Nigel Bannister thinks the idea might stimulate extra public interest. “The idea of transmitting an ad into space is somewhat controversial but still of scientific interest,” he said.

“This could be a test for future very long range communications and it gives us an opportunity to tell the Universe we are here (in case someone out there is listening – like reversal of the SETI programme!).

“There could also be potential commercial interest in enterprises like this. Imagine one day that companies on Earth might wish to advertise to other planetary colonies within our solar system -for example if man ever moves to colonise Mars!”

Source: Space Daily

30 Replies to “Doritos In Space”

  1. it’s not as if there are little green men out there to pick up this signal. God made the Earth the home of life, and man the Lords of the Earth.

  2. ManOfScience, the difference between your “science book” and the Bible is that yours is the word of men, the Bible is the word of God. I’ll put my faith in Jesus, thanks.

  3. It must be great to make money out of fat pigs from the UK with no education !! There is no one out there to pick up the signal. Another fool seems to be Megachrist that believes in religion and blind faith and not in science that proves itself to him everyday. There is no creation… its called evolution go read a science book !

  4. Private enterprise is the way of the future with space exploration and research. Unfortunately, the UK is attempting to thwart this principle by exploiting private enterprise to raise money for its own shortcomings. If Doritos wants to beam messages to stars, whatever floats their boat. Personally, I think its an indictment of a shortsighted culture that is indifferent to the advancement of science and research. However, I am a fan of free enterprise. If the markets want a better investment on their return in the area of science, the markets will prevail in the end. If the markets want “it ain’t easy being cheesy” as their mantra, the markets will prevail in the end. I accept that, even if I don’t agree with it. But what I cannot stomach is the truly nauseating relationship being forged between governmental-state-agency-run science projects piggy backing on private companies. If the UK government wants to make science a priority, they ought to figure out a way to balance their books like everyone else. However, the bigger point is that I have seen very little evidence that any government is truly interested in science. Government is interested in science only when it suits self-serving needs, including whatever politics happen to be the most popular. Doritos is the latest example of this happening.

  5. If the aliens are little flat pointy headed things . . . . well lets just say they may not be very anxious to meet us.

  6. This is obviously a very efficient campaign. It, however, has absolutely nothing to do with aliens. It’s addressed at eartlings and at earthlings alone, especially of the nerdy flavor, as evidenced by this very text, advertising the brand in exchange for nothing.

    I’m further puzzled by this Guinness Book of Records thing. Wha?! Why on Earth (and surroundings) is this going to be in the GBR?! 😮

  7. “Imagine one day that companies on Earth might wish to advertise to other planetary colonies within our solar system -for example if man ever moves to colonise Mars!”

    YIKES! This makes me shudder! Even the interplanetary radio waves will be cluttered with such gibberish as Dorito’s ads and religious fundamentalists! The only benefit I can see to all these beamings is that this will act as a “cultural camouflage” and give the aliens a misconception of who we really are.

    btw… If I wanted to refresh myself on the whole religion vs science arguements I’d go visit .

  8. megachrist,

    its just what you believe, that God spoke through men, which is great and wonderful. but it is debatable and impossible to prove (i guess until after you die). However, the FACT is that actual humans wrote the Bible, not God.

    talking about life elsewhere however, i dont see how we can be so arrogant in thinking that we are the end all be all of life. i believe that there is life in other parts of the universe. i do not think that this decreases our importance as living being. perhaps those of us who think that it will have illusions of grandeur. literally everything in the universe is connected, is what i believe.

    i for one do not think that religion and science have to be at odds with one another. i do not believe in creationism. thats merely a story. however, our creation did occur and, i suspect, it began billions of years ago with the creation of the universe. so many seemingly random things, countless happenings, had to occur for us to exist. its mind boggling to think that these things that culminated in our existence is a just coincidence. we didn’t just appear! the more i study the universe, the more i am mystified by it; the more i question if there is a higher power, or whatever. i can barely comprehend the actuality of the age of the universe. i cannot fathom how these things could just pop into existence without a prime mover. the ‘spark’ that set off the big bang, what was it? was that God? i love stretching my mind with these thoughts. definitely interesting stuff for me to think about! yes?

  9. remember too, dinosaurs. yeah, they were here before us. thinking we are so special insults their existence. maybe there are other “dinosaurs” creatures on other planets?

  10. Thank you all for proving why truly intelligent beings in this galaxy are not and will not contact this planet any time soon.

  11. # MegaChrist Says:
    June 13th, 2008 at 8:02 am

    # ManOfScience Says:
    June 13th, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Isnt it possible that you are both dumb?

  12. Alex you probably wouldn’t have wasted two minutes telling us if you were smarter ! Anyway Its not going to get as bad as youtube comments

    MegaChrist jesus loves you !
    * Religion obstructs scientific research.
    * Religion wastes time and money.

    Yup what a waste of time !

    * Religion gets people to believe something untrue.
    * Religion makes people base the way they run their lives on a falsehood.
    * Religion stops people thinking in a rational and objective way.
    * Religion forces people to rely on outside authority, rather than becoming self-reliant.
    * Religion imposes irrational rules of good and bad behaviour.
    * Religion divides people, and is a cause of conflict and war.
    * The hierarchical structure of most religions is anti-democratic, and thus offends basic human rights.
    * Religion doesn’t give equal treatment to women and gay people, and thus offends basic human rights.

  13. MOS
    To expand on the “*Religion divides people, and is a cause of conflict and war.”…. Countless millions of people have killed and died in the name of “God” in the history of our planet…

    Only one positive I can think of about religion: It keeps some people moral and kind. But I’m sure a lot of them are that way out of fear of what will happen to them in the “afterlife”..

  14. To bad there’s no cheese for nachos — I’ll bet ETs would *love* nachos! 😉

  15. Not to be a religious/scientific spoilsport, but before you blokes get too hot and heavy into your respective (intellectual) jihads, there is nothing requiring science and religion to be at loggerheads with each other. Each addresses areas of concern not accessible to the other. Science deals with the objective universe, while religion deals with subjective concerns, including such questions as, “My child, the light of my life, just died of a disease. How can I go on after this? What does it mean, that I *should* go on?” These two realms of being, the objective and subjective, are two sides of one coin: Life itself, including human life. Give unto science what is science’s natural concern — and unto God, what is God’s. Those belligerent religionists/scientists (you know who you are!) who feel compelled to try to make science and religion go to war against each other are the problem, not the solution. So simmer down, MegaChrist and ManOfScience, and leave the rest of us to work our puzzles and be amazed and delighted by our strange, huge, wonderful universe.

  16. You are all infidels and will burn under His Noodleiness’ Great Marinara Stare!

  17. When aliens do decide to get rid of humanity because we are too stupid to live, we won’t even see it coming.

    There will be no invading fleets of ships, no robotic war machines tromping across the landscape frying everything in their paths.

    It will all happen in an instant – WHAM!

    No heroes, no winners. Just a smoldering
    ruin that was once called the planet Earth
    by its former inhabitants, who are now all dead. Not even Wil Smith is left.

    And the really amazing part? The Universe,
    nay, the galaxy, will carry on just as it always has before those little primates ever even existed.

    So send all the Doritos ads into space all you
    want – it won’t matter in the end.

    Have a nice day.

  18. “Mmmm… Sounds good… Is that with beef or chicken?”

    and a side order of Doritos?

  19. I hate Doritos, they are like cardboard, uuggghh…. Proper crisps are Walkers or Seabrook…

  20. Hopefully they will nuke us from orbit in 90 years because by spamming the universe we have well and truly committed an act that damns the entire species.

  21. Somebody give Yael Dragwyla a cigar or I will. Sir you have hit the nail on the head. We need to look at Science and religion as two separate entities. If those who criticize(on either side) think they sound intellectual, Think again, you sound like the elementary kids I teach and deal with on a daily basis. Stop your temper tantrums and discuss the article on its merits or lack thereof.

    BTW doritos has nacho cheese flavor chips… mmmmm TASTY!!!!

    ps. The ad is dumb even by Earthly standards.

  22. Great, yet another group shouting out to space so that some day the aliens will come and do some pest control.

    Is the message we really want to send ET that we’re extremely tasty?

  23. Considering that the Martians landed in England around 1896 and practically wiped
    everything out there, you think they would be
    far more cautious about contacting aliens than other countries, but I guess not.

    I bet they also think Dr. Who will come and
    rescue them.

  24. Hey all this we see in the universe just proves there is a god. Now if there is aliens does that really meen there isn’t a god. No it does not. But yea there’s prob more life out there we don’t know. I have great faith in my so called god but see science as proving the greatness of him. What about spiritual life. Maybe when we die we can now go everywhere in the universe with no space suit no rockets. We wouldn’t have to follow the laws of nature cuz where not solid life anymore. I know that there’s a higher power I just don’t expect it to do everything. We makes things happen and it sets off life to envolve. Humans have free will so we shouldn’t expect God to change things when we don’t like it. Science is the evadence of what God has done!

  25. MegaChrist,
    The fact you are using this as a name shows your ignorance towards your own beliefs. It is a sin in the Christian religion to use Christ’s name in vain as you do here, with an attitude of self-conceit; especially in the manner you speak towards others.

    If you were a true Christian, you would allow others to believe as they do without boistrous output on how they are so wrong. You don’t see the leadership of any Christian faith going after science in the same manner as you do.

    Please take your foolish (yes foolish… not ignorant) statements elsewhere.
    If you believe in God, then you know he gave you 2 ears and one mouth. You should engage the two, and relax the one.

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