Comparing the Advertising Timelines: STAR TREK BEYOND Promo Lagging Way Behind INTO DARKNESS

Some might be surprised that Star Trek Beyond is coming out in two and half months, considering the lack of advertising we’ve seen for the film. At least, that’s been the sentiment on news sites, blogs, and comment boards around the internet: shouldn’t we have another trailer or more photos by now? But is the advertising for Beyond really that abysmal compared to the previous two films? We’ve constructed an interactive timeline comparing the release of promotional material before Beyond and Star Trek Into Darkness to find out.

Here we compare the pre-release advertising timelines for the two sequel films from the JJ Abrams reboot of the Star Trek movie franchise.

One thing that makes Beyond and Into Darkness difficult to compare directly is the fact that the movies had quite different premiere dates. While both “summer tentpole” films, Beyond is slated to come out July 22nd, while Into Darkness came out over two months earlier, on May 16th. So saying, “by March of 2013, we already had much more advertising for STID compared to March of 2016 for STB” is misleading, as STB would be two months behind in its advertising schedule. That’s why we compare the two timelines not by absolute date but by another metric: number of days before release (indicated in red (STB) or blue (STID) text above each timeline event), starting with the first trailer.

The first thing that stands out is just how much earlier the first trailer for Beyond (221 days before release) came out compared to Into Darkness (151 days before). This set STB up for the big lull in advertising between December, 2015 and March of this year when things started to ramp up again (albeit, slowly).

On the flip side, Into Darkness had two trailers released in rapid succession early on, with Trailer #2 coming out just 10 days after the announcement trailer in December of 2012.

At the time of writing, with 81 days until Beyond‘s release, we have gotten 1 trailer, 2 major interviews, 10 photos, and 2 behind-the-scenes videos. At the same point in Into Darkness‘s timeline, we had gotten 2 trailers, 3 major interviews, 15 photos, plus 2 apps and the reveal of some plot details.

There is definitely a mismatch here in the advertising timelines: the data clearly show that STB is lagging behind STID. However, we must admit, the disparity isn’t as large as we had initially thought (although this may be partly due to a large number of Beyond images being released just two days ago).

If the PR powers that be behind Star Trek Beyond‘s advertising plan can rally and release a veritable firehose of material in the next two months (and, that may be a big if) the two timelines may end up looking not so dissimilar.

In other words, if our timeline has any predictive power whatsoever, we should be expecting to see a LOT of promotional material for Star Trek Beyond coming out relatively soon.

A big reason that Trekkies have been less than enthused with the promotion of Star Trek Beyond is undoubtedly the inescapable comparison to the advertising of another space-based science fiction reboot, also helmed by JJ Abrams. With Disney’s powerhouse saturate-the-market approach, you couldn’t get away from Star Wars promo material. It even invaded our produce aisles.

Still, out of control Star Wars merchandising aside, you can’t deny the fact that hype surrounding Beyond has been disappointing. Even friends of mine – Trekkies who also listen to me talk about Star Trek news constantly – are often shocked when I tell them the new movie comes out in a couple of months. “I thought it was coming out next year?” is not an uncommon reply.

With Paramount struggling to keep its shareholders happy, it’s a wonder why they don’t pay more attention to one of their most successful properties. With 81 days left to go, can they turn the promotional tide?

Note: Although viewable on mobile, your experience will be best viewing this timeline on a larger screen. If you must view it on mobile, we recommend turning your phone to landscape mode.

See something errant or missing? Let us know in the comments. We will keep this timeline updated as new Star Trek Beyond advertising comes out.

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