The History Channel is taking the wraps off a new promotion for its upcoming special, 1968 with Tom Brokaw. Make that putting the wraps on.
The channel is teaming up with Amtrak for the first ever complete "train wrap," similar to promotions in which city buses are wrapped with signage.
Starting Nov. 12, the exterior of a high-speed Acela train -- two locomotives and six cars -- will all be completely wrapped in vinyl signage bearing images from 1968. The train runs between Washington, D.C., and Boston along Amtrak's busiest and most profitable route. The wraps are viewable from the outside but will not obstruct the views from inside, the network said.
Some of that rolling history wasn't very pleasant. Some of 1968's most memorable moments were also its most violent, including the Vietnam War in America's living rooms and the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.
Steve Feder, a spokesman for Corporate Image Media, which is handling the promotion as the exclusive marketer for Amtrak trains on the East Coast corridor, said those violent times will be evoked tastefully, with images of soldiers, Kennedy and Dr. King but nothing "that would be inappropriate." Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol will also make appearances.
Feder estimated that several million people will see the train sometime during its four-week journey, which ends Dec. 9, when the two-hour special is set to air at 9 p.m. on the channel.
History will also get signage inside, including backlit posters and LED signboards. "It's their train," Feder said.
The company has done some other Amtrak wraps -- a Toyota Tundra on an engine, for example -- but this is the first full-train wrap and the first for an Acela.