FCB, Shatner ask Amazon to boldly go to Chicago


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a “Trekkie.” Who knew? And he’s a rabid fanboy at that, having gone as far as to make a cameo as an alien Starfleet officer in the JJ Abrams-helmed Paramount film, Star Trek Beyond.

Soooo what’s a city to do when they are among the 20 finalist cities trying to lure the retail giant to make its second North American headquarters? You beam up Captain Kirk.

That’s exactly what FCB and Chicago did, as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office released the video which was held close to the vest from the public on Friday – the day after Amazon execs wrapped up a two-day visit touring potential sites.

The agency and mayor’s office enlisted Starfleet’s first captain, actor William Shatner, (I’m a Picard fan myself) to introduce the city’s bid. Set against a twinkling background reminiscent of Star Trek’s opening, Shatner begins to narrate, “Really, the press release writes itself,” adding that “there is something to be said of the poetry of it all.” The video quickly and successfully makes an emotional connection between Amazon’s scrappy founding in 1994 in a garage and how the city rebuilt after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Watch below:



This is actually the second time FCB has used a Star Trek captain to pitch a client, having used Patrick Stewart (also as a voiceover) to lure Boeing ages ago. Until Friday’s tweet, Chicago officials have kept a tight-lipped on the video, claiming its release could compromise the competitiveness of its bid.

The city most recently lost out on landing the George Lucas Museum as it currently broke ground in LA. Let’s hope Star Trek beats out Star Wars in this case. Amazon is expected to make its final decision by the end of the year.

Live long and prosper, Chicago.

Have new work? Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.