Emmys: 10 Memorable FYC Campaigns

8:36 AM 8/28/2019

by Harper Lambert

From 'Mad Men's' product launch to 'Transparent's' gender-neutral bathroom stickers, The Hollywood Reporter rounds up some of the most memorable campaigns in recent years.

When Netflix's House of Cards became the first streaming series to win an Emmy in 2013, other platforms and networks began ramping up their awards campaigns to arm themselves against the new competition. With an annual barrage of mailers, billboards and print ads, creative campaigning has become key to capturing views and votes. In the thick of Emmy season, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at memorable FYC campaigns of the recent past.

  • 'Glee'

    2011

    Courtesy of FOX

    Though it features only five members of its large ensemble cast, this Glee FYC ad captures the essence of the show. A scheming Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) stands in front of the blown-up versions of four yearbook photos, which have been vandalized with permanent marker. The words "For Your Consideration" have also been crossed out and replaced by "SHOW THEM NO." It's a cheeky anti-campaign campaign that reflects the relationships of the characters on the show.

  • 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

    2011

    Where comedy is concerned, FYC advertisements tend to echo the humor of the shows they are promoting — whether it be self-deprecating, satirical or topical. In 2011, the team behind Jimmy Kimmel Live! parodied the Oscar campaign ads that actress Melissa Leo self-produced earlier that year (she went on to win the award for best supporting actress). Kimmel re-created her look by posing in a low-cut sequined gown and fur stole under the slogan "Consider…" Pee-Wee Herman also posed in an ad mocking another Leo ad, wearing a sexy fur coat and posing by a pool, just like the actress had done previously.

  • 'The Colbert Report'

    2013

    Comedy Central

    In 2013, The Colbert Report opted for a tongue-in-cheek approach to Emmy season with an ad it placed in The Hollywood Reporter. In the ad, a smiling Colbert holds up mailers from five competitors for the outstanding variety series award. He "urges" voters to "at least consider" these other contenders: "It's not about Emmy, it's about Emm-Us," reads the copy at the bottom. Having lost his previous seven nominations to his peers, the ad is self-deprecating with a dash of reverse psychology.

  • 'Mad Men'

    What better way to advertise a show about advertising than by launching an advertising-themed campaign? In hopes of ending a two-year Emmy dry spell, showrunner and head writer Matthew Weiner teamed up with The Martin Agency. Channeling the distinctive style of '60s advertising, they created eight ads for Emmy-themed products endorsed by the show's stars. 

    Promoting a fictional hair dye called "FYC Red," Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) poses in a red dress against a red backdrop. Blazoned across the ad is the tagline "Blondes have more fun. But redheads get nods," referencing her signature hair color and the coveted award. In another retro-inspired ad, Don Draper's (Jon Hamm) elusive persona is mirrored by his shades: "Behind every pair of our sunglasses is a winning character." (See more photos here and below.)

  • 'Transparent'

    2015

    Courtesy of Amazon

    Seeking Emmy gold for a third season of Transparent, Amazon Studios strayed from the beaten path of billboards and mailers with a sticker campaign. Each bore the hashtag #BeTransparent and a rainbow-colored gender-neutral figure representing Maura, who is played by Jeffrey Tambor. The stickers were placed on the doors of single-stall bathrooms in select L.A. restaurants, temporarily transforming them into gender-neutral ones.

  • 'House of Cards'

    2016

    Courtesy of Netflix

    The year 2016 was the year of the interactive FYC campaign, with several studios looking to incorporate the presidential election into their strategies. Netflix was no exception: On the day of the California primary election, "volunteers" for "Frank Underwood 2016" set up shop next to real polling booths in Los Angeles. Looking to continue House of Cards' four-year winning streak, Netflix handed out "FU '16" bumper stickers, shirts and "Honk for Underwood" signs. 

  • 'The Mindy Project'

    2016

    Courtesy of the Paley Center

    Hulu's strategy for The Mindy Project focused on the category that might set it apart from other comedies: costume design. The year before, Neiman Marcus displayed costumes from the show in their windows; designer Salvador Pérez earned his first Emmy nomination. In 2016, Hulu launched a more ambitious campaign: a two-week pop-up costume display at the Grove in Los Angeles followed by an outdoor fashion show. A diverse slate of models wore outfits inspired by Pérez's designs. Afterward, star and showrunner Mindy Kaling chatted with Pérez about developing her character's look and promoting different body types in high fashion. 

  • 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

    2017

    Courtesy of CBS Studios

    The cast of The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend took matters into their own hands with an original song and music video titled "I Don't Care About Award Shows." Following the musical-comedy format of the series, the video begins with a meeting between Bloom, co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna and their "publicist," played by director Kimmy Gatewood. When Gatewood tries to talk campaign strategy, Bloom sings that award shows "have nothing to do with art" and that she "doesn't need the shallow praise" — all while getting pampered by a team of stylists. The sketch ends with her receiving the "Award for Not Caring About Award Shows," which closely resembles a certain gold statuette. 

  • 'Stranger Things'

    2017

    Netflix

    Sometimes it takes a genius to come up with something simple. That's certainly the case for Stranger Things' 2017 FYC billboard, which simply reads "For Your Consideration" in the iconic Stranger Things title font. The font is the brainchild of the creative studio Imaginary Forces and the show's co-creators, the Duffer Brothers. (In 2016, the siblings told The Hollywood Reporter that they drew inspiration from the lettering on Stephen King paperbacks.) Taking it a step further, "For Your Consideration" is written in neon letters.

  • 'Ozark'

    2018

    Jessica Miglio/Netflix

    From The Handmaid's Tale to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, 2018 witnessed a surge of installation-style FYC campaigns. Netflix participated in the trend by placing six life-sized laundry machines filled with fake cash in an outdoor shopping center. The faces on the dollar bills were those of Ozark stars Laura Linney and Jason Bateman.