It’s that time of year again. The beaches are crowded, the barbecues are lit and TV shows are campaigning hard to bring home the Emmy gold. Competition is fierce this year with so many shows on so many networks. According to Pete Hammond of Deadline, Netflix alone sent out twenty pounds worth of screeners to the Television Academy voters for all of the programming that they want considered. According to the Television Academy’s website, the Emmy voting opened today, June 13th, and the nominees will be announced in a month, on July 14th. This year’s awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater on September 18th.
The field of nominees is wide, and in such a competitive world, the various content creators have to fight to stand out. According to Variety, Hulu is entering the Emmy race for the first time. They are submitting series 11.22.63 and The Path. Similarly, WGN is a newbie to the race with series Underground and Outsiders. According to Deadline, various networks are launching new, more creative campaigns to attract attention around town.
For example, according to Deadline, Netflix is marketing The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt by giving parking validation tickets at high end restaurants, hotels and events with the show’s ad plastered on them. They also aired a unique ad during the Tony awards, parodying popular Tony-winning musical, Hamilton.
Also reported by Deadline, Netflix is advertising drama Narcos by returning laundry bags that say “We Love Laundering.” Also, DEA dogs from the show have been turning up for photo ops at events, including the Deadline Emmy Party. Deadline also reports that Netflix has “ambassadors” on the street for their drama House of Cards, capitalizing on election season with the slogan “FU2016” representing Kevin Spacey’s character on the show, Frank Underwood.
Netflix isn’t the only network getting creative. Deadline goes on to report that Amazon joined the competition by giving UBER drivers Kindles loaded with Amazon content — Transparent, Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle and Catastrophe. Passengers can watch nominated shows on the way to their destination. Also, Pete Hammond of Deadline reports that various networks and series have hosted at least 55 For Your Consideration events so far this season.
All of these campaigns are competing against one another for recognition in a very crowded market, and these networks are committing some serious cash to their causes. Variety reports that a “modest” Emmy campaign costs $1 million, and the bigger campaigns can cost ten times that. When the nominations are released this July and the awards air in September, we will be able to see if these unusual, disruptive Emmy campaigns will have been worth it, but it is clear that the 68th Emmy Awards will be a hard-fought battle.