Verizon, Nokia Team for ‘Trek’ Demo

NEW YORK It’s a safe bet that if any audience can appreciate brands showing off tech muscle, it’s the Trekkie crowd.

Verizon Wireless and Nokia are betting that holds true as they team up on a new site that makes one of the first efforts to use so-called “augmented-reality” technology to create an interactive version of the highly anticipated Star Trek movie on Friday. The Join Starfleet Academy site is to promote Verizon Wireless services and Nokia products.

Visitors to www.joinstarfleetacademy.com can enter the “interactive video display center” to build the augmented-reality experience. It involves printing out a PDF document reading “incoming message from Starfleet Academy.” Then, using his or her computer’s Webcam, the site shows the viewer holding the sheet and the trailer plays on top of it and moves along with it.

“This is a very particular audience,” said Shawn Moore, group creative director at Moxie Interactive, the Publicis Groupe shop that developed the campaign. “They’re very particular and look for any detail they can find.”

The Starfleet Academy site is meant as a hub for Trekkies. It includes everything from mobile applications to wallpapers to snippets from the film.

The effort is similar to a recent General Electric campaign that promoted its smart grid technology. It also allowed visitors to print out a PDF and then showed them on screen interacting with animation.

The hope is the wow factor will ignite a pass-along effect. The Starfleet Academy site includes a sharing option for popular social networks.

Such immersive experiences require some work from consumers (as well as a Webcam), making them applicable only for some audiences, Moore said.
 
“If I was just selling a service that’s so mass market, that’s not the right fit,” he said. “This type of audience and this genre of movie really speaks to tech gurus.”

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