Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history by landing Apollo 11 on the surface of the moon and then being the first humans to walk on it. I was a little kid, but I still remember that historic day like it was yesterday. My whole family sat glued to the television set as we watched those first steps. Even my grandmother, who was not interested in the “glowing box”, was riveted. It was a moment that united families, communities and the whole country…and one I will never forget. The two men who walked where no man had ever walked before are still with us today.

Neil Armstrong, now age 78, is famously the first person to step foot on the moon. He has maintained a fairly low profile since his historic walk—he retired from NASA a few years later and took a teaching position at the University of Cincinnati. He eventually took on some public speaking roles and has served on the board of directors for many U.S. businesses. Some years ago he stopped signing autographs after he found that his signed items were selling for large amounts of money and that many forgeries are in circulation.

Buzz Aldrin, now age 79, was the second person to walk on the moon and is the more public of the two moon walkers. In addition to being an American hero with an accomplished career in the military and with NASA, Alridn has probably done more in “retirement” than most of us do our whole lives. He is an author, public speaker and has appeared on dozens of television shows including “Ali G” and “The Colbert Report; and he is famously the model for the MTV Video Music Award moon man. His most recent collaboration was with Snoop Dogg, so I guess he can add “rapper” to his list of accomplishments.

The kid in me will mark the day by taking out my Apollo 11 model and landing on a brick of Swiss cheese, but the marketer in me suggests something a bit more dignified. Gift your employees with The Moon Pocket Planner to celebrate Moon Day and remind them that even though the year is half over, there is still much to accomplish. After all, if Buzz Aldrin can rap with Snoop Dogg at the age of 79, your team can surely make quota before the year is up.

While I’m dusting off my space suit, I leave you with Neil Armstrong’s famous first words as his left foot touched down on the moon’s surface, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” Indeed.