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Marketing a Blockbuster | Star Trek Paramount Pictures UK

Rob Miller | Wednesday November 09, 2011

Categories: Film Industry, Film Distribution, Film Marketing, Film Publicity, Film Promotion, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Hollywood Films, Star Trek, Genres & Case Studies, Action, Action Adventure, Adventure, Science Fiction, Hot Entries

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The main aspects of marketing are:

  • PR: offline/online
  • Media: budget, targeting TV, press, radio, outdoor, interactive
  • Research: NRG, Fame, TGI
  • Creative: trailer, POS, print, TV/radio, interactive, strategy.

The main aim of marketing is to draw people into the film, but also to target audiences who the company believe will make it a blockbuster.

Star Trek provides a very valuable franchise, which has spanned a large period of time. Overall (in terms of films and TV series), the franchise is worth £49.9m in total for the UK box office.

The last two Star Trek films have been hits; though have only really appealed to the existing Star Trek audience. These were Insurrection (1999) and Nemesis (2003). Because of this, Paramount wanted the new Star Trek film to appeal to broader audiences, with the aim of it being a blockbuster.

As a result, the new film…

  • Had a new cast of much-loved characters (appealing to existing audiences, while not alienating new ones)
  • Complete reinvention of much-loved characters
  • Supreme production values, with the selling point of J.J. Abrams

The existing audience of Trekkies would already have seen the film, and therefore they would not make it a blockbuster alone, but were likely to see it on the grounds of their pre-existing interest. As a result, it was not as necessary to actively ‘sell’ the movie to them.

To make Star Trek (2009) a blockbuster, there were key aspects, which Paramount aimed to minimise and maximise…

Minimise

  • Legacy (idea of it being for nerds and dads)
  • Context (less set in space, more linked to personal feeling)
  • Retro (less kitsch in terms of production values)
  • Insularity (opening up the audience domain from Trekkies)

Stereotypically Trekkies are associated with ‘geek culture’ reflecting notions of the obsessive fan.

Maximise

  • New cast (younger, more attractive)
  • Audio/visual effects (higher production values)
  • Characters (newer characters, including Simon Pegg...

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