The NASA live feed of the Curiosity landing on Mars was not what we expected. We saw colleagues interacting, sometimes sharing a smile, and lots of focused work. There were no white, short-sleeved dress shirts of Houston Control. There were blue polos with over-sized logos. There was even a guy with a mohawk and another that looked like a hippy rocker. There were women. What?
It looked like our own lives. The best part, though, was seeing the room erupt in emotion when the Curiosity landed successfully. There were hugs, shouts, high fives. Engineers were actually crying. They were just like us, but probably smarter.
It was easy to cheer for people you feel you could know, meet at Starbucks, wave to from the driveway. Rocket scientists? Who knew?
Sure, NASA had an @MarsCuriosity Twitter handle all ready to go and they were doing their level best to give us the right information in form of facts and scenarios. But that didn’t make the Mars landing into a viral event. The humanity of it all made it fun to share and celebrate alongside all of those PhD’s.
Too much marketing is still delivered as fact and scenario. What if we take a lesson from NASA and let our personalities show a little more?