The First All-Civilian
Mission to Space

In November 2020, Shift4 CEO, Jared Isaacman, presented us with the challenge to not only brand and market the first all-civilian mission to space, but to utilize our entire operating system to execute all:

[ Research ]
[ Social Strategy ]
[ Media Planning ]
[ Brand Strategy ]
[ Creative Development ]
[ Media Buying ]
[ Creative Strategy ]
[ Creative Production ]
[ Media Optimization ]
[ Social ]
[ Identity ]
[ Partnerships ]

It’s rare for one agency to be solely employed as the end to end solution for a mission of this size and scope.

The crew seats were named after the mission’s 4 pillars representing the best of humanity; Leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity and the selections were to be a representation of those traits. Added together they equal “inspiration.”


Jared Isaacman

[ HOPE ]

Hayley Arcenaux


Dr. Sian Proctor


Chris Sembroski

Our North Star

How far can inspiration take you?

We designed the official mission patch that was adorned on the spacesuits as well as the mission logo that was a decal on the rocket.

We chose the biggest platform in the world to put out a clarion call that invited anyone to go to space for free.

Bryce Dallas Howard

Daughter of Apollo 13 director Ron Howard and who has a long history with and an affinity for space travel, to direct the commercial. Her pedigree in directing, which includes Disney’s Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian, made her the perfect fit.

Octavia Spencer

From the Oscar nominated Hidden Figures, a film profiling 3 brilliant African American women at NASA


We worked with Universal Music Group on a custom track by upcoming artist and aptly named Celeste that evokes a childhood enchantment with the idea of going to space by using the lullaby Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Industrial Light & Magic

We enlisted the experts at Industrial Light and Magic to oversee the special effects.



We were the sole creators of the mission key art. Consistent with the overall campaign theme, the suit and helmet remain the central focus, creating the inviting visual opening for you, the civilian, to step into the role of astronaut.


The call to action was amplified by a bespoke media strategy that achieved unparalleled reach, reinforced by high impact creativity that established this mission as an inflection point in human history.

This was never supposed to be about only going to space. If we can put 4 civilians in orbit, then we should be able to do remarkable things on earth as well. That’s why we chose St. Jude Children's Research hospital to be the recipient of the single biggest donation in their history.


Inspiration4’s mission concluded in September 2021—making history with the first Black female pilot, the youngest American in space, and the first person to fly to space with a prosthetic— proving to dreamers that the sky is not the limit. To date, the mission has already eclipsed its initial goal, having amassed $243 million, much of which came from everyday Americans moved by the mission and its beneficiaries.

$243M+ Raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Current amount would fund:

Major Surgical Procedures
Red Blood Cell Transfusions
Days of Inpatient Care
Days of Meals for St. Jude Families
85 Million Impressions
from the Super Bowl spot, reaching 40.5 Million Households and driving 235,000 visitors to Inspiration4’s site
Branded Search CTR
on Inspiration4’s site was 43% for the first week of the campaign

[ Press ]

Published Articles
135 Billion
Unique Impressions
Unique Social Media Posts
Rise in Visibility for Shift4
Stock price increased 19% from Feb. 1 to Sept. 2021
Largest Single Year Fundraising Campaign
initiative in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s history

[ Inspiration4 crew lands on the cover of Time Magazine ]


Dreaming bigger, the team was determined to document the entire process. With TIME Studios as a partner, we began what would end up being a 5-part series, documenting the journey of the crew—each of their stories, the training, and the emotions leading up to and following the launch. Netflix bought into the idea, providing an even larger platform to share the story. This new twist further distinguished our mission from the Branson and Bezos missions.


We worked in collaboration with the marketing team at Netflix to develop the campaign key art, including the core concept of the helmet and suit, as well as the overall tag line.

All four crew members received commercial astronaut training by SpaceX. The training included lessons in orbital mechanics, operating in a microgravity environment, mountain climbing, stress testing, emergency-preparedness training and mission simulations.

We started with the simple spark of an idea, and ultimately changed history... all in less than a year. From Super Bowl to splash down, with every component weaving together like clockwork.

Solving the challenge of branding and marketing the first-ever civilian space contest forced us to unlock first-ever innovative solutions. Using a nontraditional, all-in approach, Inspiration4 successfully brought the possibility of civilian space flight into the public consciousness by marrying storytelling, traditional advertising and PR with a worthy philanthropic cause.