Producer/Director JJ Abrams is on a viral rampage this year, it seems. Hot on the tail of Cloverfield’s big screen debute, was the premiere of the initial teaser trailer for the 11th installment in the Star Trek film franchise. Reportedly, the movie will carry only the name “Star Trek”, as it returns to the academy days of our beloved Enterprise crew. The teaser can be seen on the official website. But as beautiful as it is, that is not the reason for this article.
If you navigate to the official website, scroll down to the “Under Construction” label. See the little red dot beside it? Click it. Yes, you’ve just found another viral website. JJ is known for tying common threads between his creative productions – his unique drink Slusho! being the most prominent example. Slusho has made cameo appearances in Alias, Heroes, and Kenan and Kel. But recently he’s taken a liking to extending his works beyond their base medium, into the internet world, and the real world.
If you’re familiar with the TV show Lost (also an Abrams production), there was a very well received extended reality called The Lost Experience which ran along the TV show. Currently leading up to the North American airing of season 4 is another campaign called Find 815. You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the viral campaign surrounding the months leading up to the premiere of Cloverfield (which also, by the way, has a backstory around the development of the Slusho drink and its secret ingredient Seabed’s Nectar).
So the question is, will Abrams be providing another extended experience or alternate reality game related to the Star Trek franchise leading up to the movie’s release? Or will this turn out just to be another typical viral marketing campaign? Personally, I would love to see a Slusho! cameo appearance in the movie. Imagine: Kirk and Spock order a Slusho from a bar at the Academy. And Guinan serves it to them.
At the very least, we have a new website – a relatively covert website, which seems to be showing ‘streaming video’ from the construction site of the Enterprise NCC-1701. What will the days ahead reveal to us? We have nearly a whole year to find out. JJ knows how to bait and taunt his target market, so expect a lot of mystery and viral advertising.
Live long, and drink Slusho.