Paramount+ Offers up Three Insights on Engaging Pop Culture Fandoms

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Paramount+ partnered with Coolhaus to create limited-edition Wrath of P’Khan treats that celebrate a ‘Star Trek’ milestone.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, so to celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” Paramount+ hit the road with a branded ice cream truck on a mission to expand the franchise’s fan base and solidify its positioning as the home of “Star Trek” content. Part of the network’s Summer of Sweet Revenge campaign, the program also includes nationwide screenings, social integrations, an online hub and strategic partnerships designed to both engage loyal Trekkies and bring new fans into the fold.

Paramount+ kicked off the campaign on June 4, the film’s anniversary, in partnership with ice cream brand Coolhaus, parking in New York City for the day to dish out complimentary, limited-edition “Wrath of P’Khan” ice cream sandwiches. Passersby could walk up to the wrapped truck, brimming with franchise imagery and a can’t-miss neon color scheme, to grab a treat, learn about Paramount’s “Star Trek” offerings and take a breather. The truck then traveled to Santa Monica Boulevard in time for National Ice Cream Day (July 17), and will be part of Paramount+’s San Diego Comic-Con activation this month.

The Summer of Sweet Revenge will also include a slew of nationwide “Wrath of Khan” film screenings—2,500 of them, in fact—during the TCM Big Screen Classics series on Sept. 4, 5 and 8 (hosted in partnership with Fathom Events), with on-site fan engagements planned for select viewing events.

ahs bakery_FX_teaserMore Pop Culture Activations:

Paramount+ additionally collaborated with collectibles brand Funko, inviting fans online to vote on whether Funko should create a “Battle Ready Khan” or “Post-Battle Khan” figurine. “Battle Ready” was the winner, and was available for pre-order a few days following the vote. Other Summer of Sweet Revenge touchpoints include social media challenges, downloadable campaign stickers for Instagram and a curated selection of Khan-centric and revenge-themed “Star Trek” movies and shows featured in special carousels on the Paramount+ website.

The brand says it’s just getting started when it comes to “Star Trek” fan engagement, so we tapped Sam Ades, svp-Star Trek franchise management at Paramount, for insights on the brand’s Summer of Sweet Revenge campaign strategy, and making authentic connections with fans.

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The ice cream truck tour is just one aspect of Paramount’s Summer of Sweet Revenge campaign strategy.


Keep it Simple.

Paramount+’s Wrath of P’Khan ice cream truck tour was intentionally straightforward and easy to engage with in order to appeal to both superfans and potential fans of the franchise.

“There are so many ways into ‘Star Trek’ and sometimes it can feel like a lot to people who are new to the franchise,” says Ades. “We want to be where our current, but also our potential, fans are, and we want to engage them in ways that are fun and accessible and really invite them in to spend time having an ice cream for half an hour, or two hours with a movie in a very simple, easy-to-enjoy way… This is the beginning of us showing up in interesting places and interesting ways for our current fans, but also where there might be new or curious fans. We can’t wait to do more, see what worked really well with the fandom and see where there are opportunities to do better next time.”


Align With Like-minded Partners.

Since its earliest days, “Star Trek” has promoted a message of inclusivity, so for Paramount, teaming up with LGBTQ+- and women-owned Coolhaus was a natural fit.

“Partnerships are tremendously important because it really is about finding those collaborations that cross-pollinate audiences and fandoms. We always want to do this in a way that’s authentic to our franchise, authentic to our brand. And we want to work with partners who also share our values,” Ades says.


Don’t Neglect Fans at Home.

Ades says that while Paramount is ramping up its in-person experiences, which fans have shown a “strong hunger” for post-pandemic, the brand recognizes that some consumers aren’t comfortable engaging face-to-face, and others simply aren’t in the vicinity of its events. That makes digital engagement, well… paramount.

“We do not want the fans who can’t or do not feel comfortable in those experiences feeling left out. So we do a lot digitally and we plan to do more,” says Ades. “It is not a substitute, but we’re surprised by how meaningful some of the digital communities that developed during the pandemic were, and how supportive and real they were. So while we absolutely want to get back to real life, we don’t want to step away from the communities that we’ve been able to foster.”

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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