As the 40th anniversary of the moon landing approaches, Louis Vuitton has hired a trio of the most famous astronauts—Buzz Aldrin, Sally Ride, and James Lovell—to pose for this glamour shot by Annie Leibovitz. (Advertising commentators have fixated on the absence of Neil Armstrong, apparently unaware that he has spent decades shunning any and all publicity.)
The campaign, which includes both print ads and this online video, is aimed at baby boomers, who are old enough to remember the moon landing and to respond positively to the mid-century glamour of space flight. But the slogan, “Some journeys change mankind forever,” with its evocation of escape and transformation, has a poignant resonance (and not just because mankind seems a bit retro). Communications satellites aside, how much has space exploration really changed human life? The adventure is long past, and I’m still waiting for my favorite kindergarten reading to fulfill its title’s glamorous promise.