The Beatles Intergallactic Brand

It's been generally believed that the Beatles brand has broad and enduring appeal, but now it's time to market test its "universality." At 7 p.m. EST (12 midnight GMT) NASA, the US space agency, is beaming the Beatles song, "Across the Universe," well, across the universe. It's the first song to be sent into outer space, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' recording of the tune, which appeared on their "Let It Be" album. (This year is also the 50th anniversary of NASA.) The song, one of John Lennon's finest, will be aimed towards the North Star, Polaris, where nearby residents can hear it in 431 years. (If they like it we should know by 2870.) Thousands of Beatles fans across the world are expected to play the song at precisely the time of launch or watch the send-off on NASA TV.

But what IS it about the Beatles brand that 40 years later it can still generate this kind of attention on Planet Earth?