If things feel a little chaotic this week, there’s a planetary reason for that.
An astrology startup called Planet, founded by agency creatives Rinny Shim and Nechama Muchnik, is running an out-of-home campaign pointing out that Mercury is in retrograde—a helpful reminder that positions Planet as an astrology buddy who can keep you up to date on how the position of celestial objects can affect your day-to-day.
Indeed, the ads say the free, text-based service is “your new astrology bestie.”
Shim told Ad Age that the ads are meant to offer a taste of what Planet offers in its texts, which you can choose to get either daily or three times a week. “We tell you the astrological forecast/big planetary movements every day to help you plan your day or anticipate obstacles, mishaps or good times,” she said.
The ads are loud and colorful, with a chunky font and QR codes to learn more. Mercury in retrograde is one of the few astrology-isms that non-astrology people may have heard before, making it a good theme for launch work.
“We wanted to tell people about it in a big splashy way,” said Shim. “We brand ourselves as ‘your astrology bestie,’ and your best friend would DEFINITELY tell you what’s up and why life might be chaotic right now. Especially your best friend who’s super into astrology.”
Visually, the ads take their cues from Gen Z tropes—Planet’s head of design, Joy Seet, happens to be an art director at TikTok. “She is the genius behind the visuals of the brand,” said Shim.
About 10 people are working on Planet right now as a passion project—half of whom are creatives in advertising. They’re funding it themselves with support from friends, but are looking for partnerships to grow.
One idea for monetizing the service down the line is doing sessions with astrologers via text as a paid offering, but they’re currently more focused on growing the community through the free service.
Shim and Muchnik said they launched the new project for a few reasons. First, as creatives, they’re just into making stuff. They both grew up with astrology—“For me, growing up Korean, we consult astrologers for every major life decision,” Shim said. But they also believe it can actually be used for making more intentional decisions.
“Astrology is having a moment right now, but no one really realizes it’s also a tool that can be used to navigate life on a daily basis,” Shim said. “We were on a shoot recently where we asked the team on the ground what everyone’s signs were to get a better sense of what kind of energy we were working with. And I’m not going to say the client wrote us saying ‘This was the best shoot ever’ but … they did.”