HPE, Paramount Team Up to Take Technology to 'Star Trek' Level

Latest Campaign Uses Trekkie Theme to Showcase The Machine

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise is partnering with Paramount Pictures on its upcoming movie "Star Trek Beyond," which will feature futuristic technologies developed exclusively for the film, inspired by HPE's The Machine research project.

In advance of the July 22 theatrical release of the film, HPE is rolling out a new campaign Tuesday called "Accelerating Beyond," which has a Trekkie theme and introduces The Machine, a research project that is reengineering computer architecture.

The ad campaign was created by BBDO New York, which developed HPE's "Accelerating Next" campaign when HPE spun off as a separate company from Hewlett Packard last year. The Paramount partnership and product integration with "Star Trek Beyond" was led by Interfuse Communications, a Ketchum agency.

"Every piece of technology we co-created with the Paramount team allows us to showcase what The Machine will enable," said Marissa Freeman, VP-global brand and advertising at HPE. "We are looking at our relationship with Paramount and 'Star Trek' as an opportunity to create a two-hour demo of The Machine."

HPE's The Machine project is focused on reinventing the architecture on which today's computing technology is based -- from smartphones to data centers to supercomputers.

Ms. Freeman said HPE started working with Paramount Pictures over a year ago, when shooting of the film was just getting underway, to collaborate on technology that would be used in the movie.

"They flew us out there for a top-secret meeting with the filmmakers," she said. "We brought our engineers and software developers with us, we learned the plot, and they asked us to imagine what technology would look like 250 years in the future."

HPE came back to Paramount with about 10 different ideas for futuristic technologies, and Paramount selected three that will appear in the film.

Without giving away the plot, Ms. Freeman said one technology that will appear in the movie is called the Quarantine, which is basically the data center of the future.

"It is a fusion of hardware and software that enables all of the possibilities of data science and the IoT," she said.

Another technology that will appear in the movie is called the Diagnostic Wrap, a data-harnessing tool, Ms. Freeman said.

"It is the future vision of the internet of things -- how enterprises of all kinds will be able to benefit form a hyperintelligent IoT. All of these concept technologies are based on what The Machine will enable."

In addition to HPE's technology being featured in the film, its logo mark, called "the Element" -- a glowing green rectangle -- will be embedded throughout the film.

"Software developers, engineers, IT guys and girls in general are Trekkies," Ms. Freeman said. "This partnership is a marriage made in heaven for our customers and the 'Star Trek' fan base, not to mention our employees."

To capitalize on all of this, HPE is unveiling a 60-second TV spot Tuesday at its HPE Discover customer event in Las Vegas, which will be followed up by traditional media placements in the weeks leading up to the movie release.

In the spot, which takes place on a far-off planet 250 years in the future, a group of cadets from the Starfleet Academy are following their instructor, who tells them that The Machine technology changed everything about computing, from back when there were "just 30 billion" connected devices on Earth.

To illustrate his point, he calls up a hologram that shows the progression of technology -- including scenes from previous "Star Trek" movies -- from early in the 21st century to the present day.

"It changed the world," the instructor said, referring to The Machine. "It's been a part of every new technology for the past 250 years."

"Everything?" asks a cadet.

"Everything," the instructor answers.

At the end of the spot, a voiceover says, "This year, Hewlett Packard Enterprise will preview The Machine, and the future of technology will begin."

The campaign will also run online and in social channels. The budgets for the Paramount partnership and the ad campaign were not disclosed.

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