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Estee Lauder pays Nasa US$128,000 for photo shoot in space

New York

ESTEE Lauder is sending its newest skincare formula into space, and it'll cost only about as much as paying a big influencer for a few Instagram posts.

The US cosmetics giant is spending US$128,000 for Nasa to fly 10 bottles of its skin serum to the International Space Station. Once there, astronauts will take pictures of Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair in the cupola control tower, which has panoramic views of the cosmos. The images will be used on social media, with the company planning to auction one bottle off for charity when the items return to Earth this spring.

The global recession, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, has pushed brands to get more creative with their advertising because consumers are cutting back. Within beauty, several companies are spending less on traditional ads, while looking for new ways to break through the glut of content out there. In a press release, Estee Lauder highlighted it being the "first beauty brand to go into space" as a means to tout its "skincare innovation". The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket that will transport the skin serum as part of a supply run is scheduled to launch on Tuesday night from Wallops Island, Virginia.

Estee Lauder's push into micro-gravity is part of Nasa's effort to commercialise low-earth orbit and make it a domain where private enterprise eventually does business as routinely as the government conducts spacewalks. Companies from Goodyear Tire & Rubber to Merck & Co have used space for research, and Nasa is hoping to expand its use, including private citizens visiting the space station. BLOOMBERG

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