Case Study




Stage Setting:
Axiom Space represents a vision of the highest order: to advance human progress via access to the frontier of space. It operates missions to the International Space Station (ISS) for space agencies, companies, and individuals, and - critically - it is building Axiom Station, the successor to the ISS.

No other company has the privilege of connecting its modules to the ISS, as the new station is being assembled in Earth's orbit. This will be a permanent commercial destination that will sustain human growth and bring untold benefits back home.

The Ask:
5W was hired a year before the launch of Ax-l, the first-ever all-civilian crew to reach the ISS, to structure and manage the entire communications platform, as well as press events.

Their mission inspired 5W's mission: to take the time required to build brand credibility, generate awareness, and address the skepticism which came from the fact that four billionaire crew members paid millions to get on board. It was a skeptical public and media environment, as the entitled notion of "space tourism"-a negative, ego-bashing context-had characterized the recent trips of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Therefore 5W's challenge was to separate the noise and showcase the legitimacy of the partnership between the mission and NASA.



The Idea Trigger:
5W analyzed the media environment and the reaction to Musk and Bezos, determining to create an entirely different approach. Rather than splash and glamour, 5W positioned Axiom as a purpose-driven, deliberate company and collection of individuals who were both innovators and educators.

The Big Push:
The push was a disciplined year in the making, with a strategic timeline of educating space, science, and mainstream reporters on the planetary significance of Axiom's vision and mission. 5W developed an integrated message suite around the entirely owned mission logistics, proprietary partnerships-including NASA-and the crew.

The team deeply vetted reporters and built relationships that served well, given that the date of the launch shifted several times, sometimes with only a day's notice. To neutralize any issues with coverage, 5W leveraged the shifts as an opportunity to check in with key industry reporters and sustain their interest.


Billion unique
media impressions


Industry-targeted news articles


Press conference RSVPs


This was a business-school-like study of changing the narrative. We switched the frame from a billionaire's activity to an important step in the advancement of human progress. In fact, following a massively viral news circle around launch and splashdown - each with a different news opportunity - there were more than 3,700 placements across online, print, and broadcast, only 20 of which mentioned 'space tourism' or the billionaire narrative.

We obtained placements in the full range of top-tier outlets including CBS News, Reuters, CNBC, NBC News and more. Extensive coverage was also seen in key space trades including, Aviation Week, and SpaceNews.

5W also coordinated five successful press conferences that resulted in coverage prior to and following the Ax-1 launch and splashdown.

The Axiom Space team was delighted with the narrative of the results and has stated they're looking forward to working with 5W for its upcoming Ax-2 mission.