Over the Moon

How Well-Known Brands Capitalized on the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing Space.

How Well-Known Brands Capitalized on the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

Space. It’s something most people are either fascinated by, or terrified of. July 20th, 1969, marked an iconic day in history: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans ever to set foot on the moon. Fifty years later, NASA celebrated by broadcasting a live stream of the mission, along with special exhibits at multiple museums including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. But they weren’t the only ones to take advantage of this American milestone. Snack companies and restaurants were quick to jump on board (get it?) and produce space-themed items to help people celebrate.

Sweet Treats

Dunkin Donuts released drinks and a space-themed donut to commemorate the event. ‘Cosmic Coolatta’ frozen drinks brought “a constellation of colors to each cup.” Far out! The drinks combined blue raspberry with other flavors like pineapple, grape and strawberry, each layered to resemble a galaxy. A special ‘Shooting Star’ doughnut was topped with white icing and blue raspberry-flavored popping candy clusters for a flavor blast with each bite.

Not to be outdone, Dairy Queen released the ‘Zero-Gravity Blizzard’ featuring Oreo pieces, sparkly swirls and cotton candy blended with vanilla ice cream and topped off with galaxy sprinkles.

Krispy Kreme also joined the trend, and for good reason. Turns out, Krispy Kreme doughnuts were the astronauts’ breakfast food of choice on the morning of the launch. The company created a video inspired by the original audio from takeoff and released Original ‘Filled’ Doughnuts for the very first time.

Last but not least, Oreo debuted an out-of-this world treat by releasing limited-edition ‘Marshmallow Moon’ cookies. The cookies had three different space-themed designs and purple marshmallow creme in the center. Flick off the lights and the packaging also glowed in the dark!


Prefer to imbibe rather than indulge? These breweries had you covered. Budweiser and Elysian Brewing each released special brews to mark the historic moment. Budweiser released Discovery Reserve beer, inspired by a recipe created around the time of the mission. It’s a medium-roast Voyager barley malt featuring a light hoppy aroma. For every 24-pack of Discover Reserve sold, Budweiser pledged to donate $1 to the Folds of Honor Foundation.

Elysian Brewing also released a specially-designed Space Dust IPA six-pack. With retro-themed bottles and unique labels commemorating each phase of the voyage, these were perfect to sip while watching the event live stream.

One Giant Leap for Product Goodwill

Maria Hokanson, Executive Vice President of Marketing at American Dairy Queen Corporation stated, “Consumers have had an unwavering fascination with outer space since America’s landmark achievement nearly half a century ago.” This was the perfect opportunity for businesses to use an exciting achievement in U.S. history to sell a product.

For American brands to show that they care about a historic event just as much as their consumers do is really important. Nobody will buy—or even care about—a product like this if it doesn’t matter to everyone.

Here at ANDERSON, we celebrated by buying half a dozen packs of the Marshmallow Moon Oreos. They were gone within a week. (Personal review: I’m not big on Oreos, but I had at least three a day.)