Let the (Viral) Games Begin!

Many of you familiar with the television show Lost and the just released film Cloverfield have seen J.J. Abrams’ viral marketing work. Abrams and his colleagues use fake websites, fictional postings on social networking sites like MySpace and FaceBook, and much more to add to the experience of enjoying one of his works. And now Abrams apparently has launched the first viral elements for the new Star Trek film, slated for release in December 2008.

Last Friday, January 18, the first movie trailer for the new Star Trek film begin running in theaters (not surprisingly before Abrams’ just released Cloverfield). Today, that trailer was posted online on Paramount’s official website for the Star Trek film.

By clicking on a red flashing dot (to the right of the text “Under Construction”) on the Paramount website, visitors are taken to a second, more secret site: www.ncc-1701.com. This hidden website apparently is the first element is what is likely to be Abrams’ long and creative viral campaign for the new movie. The viral website displays four video feeds, supposedly from the shipyard where the starship Enterprise (NCC-1701 to diehard Trek fans) is under construction. Visitors can play with sliders below each video feed in order to bring the video into 100% focus.

Interestingly, a three-digit number is displayed with each video feed, and the digits increase and decrease as the video is adjusted into or out of focus. Also, visitors can only focus three of the four videos simultaneously, so it takes some playing around to figure out what the different “optimum” three-digit numbers are for all four video feeds.

Here is the information I’ve been able to get from the “focus the video feeds game” on this viral website:

  • Camera 01 — 100% focus displays the number 564
  • Camera 02 — 100% focus displays the number 125
  • Camera 03 — 100% focus displays the number 955
  • Camera 04 — 100% focus displays the number 289

Does anyone have any ideas what those numbers might mean (or lead to)? And is anyone else able to get any other information out of the NCC-1701 website?

About the author

I am a writer, marketing practitioner and astronomer-in-training. My interests include science, technology and the future of just about everything. You can learn more from my Bio page.