A year before Paramount brings Star Trek back to the mainstream in a big way, they are working on another big franchise comeback, Indiana Jones. The Collective is keeping a close eye on how Paramount market this year’s big Indy movie to gain insights into what we may be expecting for next year. We will have a full report in June, but today offer an example of just one bit of the Indy media blitz…racing promotion.
Indy goes Indy
This week Paramount and Lucasfilm announced that Marco Andretti and his #26 team will be racing the Indianapolis 500 in a Blockbuster Indiana Jones car to help promote the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, opening May 22nd. In addition, there will be exclusive merchandise available at Blockbuster featuring this sporting pastiche of the two Indys. There is also a tour starting today in Phoenix and going across the nation at Blockbuster stores where fans can view the Indiana Jones car. More info on the Indy Indy Car at blockbuster.com/indianajonesindycar
The marketing of Indiana Jones is too big for merely one race car, because NASCAR also has its own Indy vehicle. Kyle Busch will drive the #18 M&M Indiana Jones car May 10th at the Dodge Challenger 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Racing merchandising is just one aspect of the massive Indy marketing campaign, but is an excellent example of ‘mainstream’ marketing that we are hearing so much about, related to JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek. So can we expect something like this next year for Trek? Well it actually wouldn’t be the first time.
In 1996, when Star Trek First Contact was assimilating theater audiences around the world, another kind of trek was taking place. NASCAR racer Michael Waltrip drove the #21 Citgo/Star Trek First Contact car during that year’s Winston Cup. This was the first and only time a Star Trek film was advertised utilizing race cars. In addition there was an interesting collectible, the 1/24 scale Star Trek car was available for about $40 (the usual price for these kind of detailed items) at NASCAR and sporting good stores across America. The scale model is exceptionally detailed and makes for a great display item. Besides being fun for fans, this kind of advertising helps alert a larger audience to a film’s imminent premier.
Model of Citgo First Contact car (FC logo on the rear hood)
With a May opening, it makes sense that Paramount might want to feature Kirk and crew on an Indy vehicle or possibly NASCAR. TrekMovie.com suggests the following for the crew chief’s helmet.
In June, after the Indy 4 campaign is over and the marketing and merchandising is complete, TrekMovie.com will have a full report on all the different facets of the campaign. So far the campaign is just massive and so if Paramount is really going to give Star Trek the big tentpole movie treatment, a year from now we are in for a fun ride.