Pacific Rim’s Viral Marketing Campaign
The folks behind Pacific Rim truly made sure fans had a lot to look forward to in the run-up to the film’s July 12, 2013 opening. With several months to go before the film premiered, Legendary Pictures launched a website for the Pan Pacific Defense Corps, serving as a means to tease the fans with content that replicated what it would have been like had they been accessing the site in the year 2025. That’s the in-film year 2025, of course, as there’s realistically very little chance of Kaiju emerging from the ocean depths to terrorize the real world going forward. But you get the point – the site was launched to add realism and build up hype, and it sure did its part.
The second major update to the Pan Pacific Defense Corps website, which took place on December 1, 2012, included the release of several blueprints, each of them corresponding to the different Jaegers that appeared in the film. These include America’s own Gipsy Danger, Russia’s Cherno Alpha, Japan’s Coyote Tango, Australia’s Striker Eureka, and China’s Crimson Typhoon. Among these five, it’s Gipsy Danger that we saw as the main focus of Pacific Rim, as it was the Jaeger piloted by the Becket brothers Yancy and Raleigh, and the Jaeger to be piloted by Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and his new co-pilot Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi).
Of course, it wasn’t enough for the PPDC website to add the Jaeger blueprints to whet fans’ appetites with seven months to go before Pacific Rim’s premiere. There were three leaked memos posted on the site, including one from the Great Britain Air Command. The letter was dated May 21, 2015, and addressed to a Lieutenant Colonel Takada, with the topic being the nomination of five “most exceptional” pilots from the GBAC to be assigned immediately to the PPDC’s Jaeger Initiative. Some of the names and other information is blacked out, and this was done in order to prevent spoilers from leaking out, and you know how average film goers feel about spoilers.
The second leaked memo is the LimaShatterdome Authorization, and it is written entirely in Spanish, dated May 17, 2016. It appears to be an email sent by a certain Francisco Gutierrez to one Ramon Rodriguez, and there are some mentions of the Kaiju threat and the Jaegers deployed to fight off the monsters. Lastly, the website added a file for the PPDC INES Pittsburgh Project, this time in French, sent by INES director Vincent Pascal to Dr. Jasper Schoenfeld of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy. Again, we can’t pick up much at all…except for clear references to the Kaiju and the Jaegers.
Lastly, the PPDC site added two viral videos, the second one being a montage of news reports from the summer of 2013. These reports all document the nascent Kaiju threat, with news feeds going black, reporters speaking in panicked tones, and miscellaneous scenes of Kaiju destruction. Unfortunately, the first has been confined to the pages of history books - it’s been taken down from the PPDC site and also pulled from YouTube. But the one video we did watch does paint a grim picture of what could happen if not just one, but several Godzilla-esque beasts declare open season on our planet.