“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
That five year mission has turned into five decades of pop culture iconography: As of today, it’s been 50 years since those words were first uttered when “Star Trek” debuted on TV. And today, brands from Facebook, Delta, Hulu to Hallmark boldly going online to wish the franchise a happy birthday — and minimal trouble with Tribbles.
Facebook gave its emoticons a “Star Trek” sheen: “like” remains the same but with a little added sparkle; “love” features the Vulcan salute; “haha” is represented by Captain Kirk; “wow” is Mr. Spock; “sad” is Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge; and “angry” features The Klingons.
These new reactions are only available to some Star Trek fans in the U.S. and Canada for a limited time, said Lindsey Shepard, Facebook Messenger’s marketing lead, in her Medium post.
Meanwhile, Trekkies everywhere are turning to Twitter to celebrate their beloved show. There have been 81,000 tweets around the hashtag #StarTrek50 so far today, with sentiment around the hashtag being 44 percent positive, 52 percent neutral, and 4 percent negative, according to marketing technology company Amobee. And within the past seven days #StarTrek50 has generated more than 28,000 mentions, says social media analytics Brandwatch.
Indeed, it seems like everyone is a fan today: Delta tweeted a photo of one of its pilots, a real-life Captain Kirk:
— Delta (@Delta) September 8, 2016
Hulu reminds us that the platform has 700 episodes available for streaming with two customized GIFs: One, a litany of “Star Trek” characters including Data, Uhura and Hikaru Sulu counting up to 50, and the other features Captain Picard’s “greatest” catch-phrase:
— hulu (@hulu) September 8, 2016
— hulu (@hulu) September 3, 2016
Greeting card maker Hallmark pays homage to Spock.
— Hallmark Cards (@Hallmark) September 8, 2016
Other brands make for a more natural fit: NASA tweeted this super-geeky video of the “Enterprise” nebulae. And the International Space Station invited visitors to play with an Enterprise icon.
— NASA (@NASA) September 8, 2016
— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) September 8, 2016
NASA’s tweets on the #StarTrek50 hashtag has raked in a total of 5,500 retweets so far today alone, according to Amobee.
“NASA should be lauded for its ability to authentically align what it stands for around people’s excitement for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek,” said Assaf Henkin, svp of brand intelligence solutions for Amobee. “It truly understands where its participation makes sense, as well as the power of digital engagement at the right moment and mindset to ensure that it’s a welcome participant in the celebration of [the show.]”
— NASA (@NASA) September 8, 2016
Here’s a roundup of a few more brands paying homage, some going a little more boldly outside their wheelhouse than others:
— Party City (@PartyCity) September 8, 2016
— AARP (@AARP) September 8, 2016
— Amazon Video (@AmazonVideo) September 8, 2016
— Smithsonian (@smithsonian) September 8, 2016
— Orville Redenbachers (@OrvillePopcorn) September 8, 2016
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