Amazon is jumping into Emmy season with full force — the streaming content studio hosted a two-week-long immersive experience for Television Academy members, which wrapped up this past weekend. The continuous event was the first of its kind for FYC soirees.
Hosted at The Hollywood Athletic Club — which just so happens to be the location of the first-ever Emmy Awards in 1949 — Amazon’s mega FYC event featured screenings, panels, cocktail parties, and a massive recreation of the platform’s original series, bringing shows such as “Transparent,” “Bosch,” “Sneaky Pete,” and “Mozart in the Jungle” to life in what is described as a “pop-up museum.”
Each show had a room set up dedicated to the series’ set pieces, costumes and design, creating an authentic environment for Academy members to experience. Following the screenings and panels, the cocktail parties were held in these fully-decorated rooms for Emmy voters to schmooze around and mingle with cast members, while being wine-and-dined by elaborate spreads.
The entire spectacle took several months to coordinate with elements from the shows coming from all over the world. Costumes were shipped from Italy, props came from Canada, and pieces were borrowed from full sets set up locally in California.
“We wanted to turn Amazon’s Emmy screening experience into something that would be more engaging and entertaining for all the academy voting body,” said Mike Benson, Amazon’s head of marketing. “There is so much more that goes into a show that can’t be seen or celebrated in a mailer of DVDs, on stage at an FYC event, or accurately captured in an ad campaign. We wanted to be innovative in Amazon’s approach this Emmy Season and honor the entire creative process. Half of the Television Academy membership is comprised of below-the-line voters so we set out to create a campaign that will also honor their craft.”
The two weeks included events for Jill Soloway’s latest Amazon series “I Love Dick,” “Catastrophe,” “Transparent,” “Patriot,” “Z: The Beginning of Everything,” “Goliath,” Amazon’s longest-running drama “Bosch,” with a panel moderated by Variety TV reporter Elizabeth Wagmeister, and “Sneaky Pete,” which was moderated by Variety’s executive editor of television Debra Birnbaum. Exhibits were also set up for children’s series “Just Add Magic” and “An American Girl Story.” The marathon wrapped up this past Friday with “The Man in the High Castle,” which attracted a line around the block to enter the screening and panel.
Casts and producers were on hand throughout the two weeks including “I Love Dick’s” Kevin Bacon, “Bosch’s” Titus Welliver, “Transparent’s” Jeffrey Tambor, “Catastrophe’s” Sharon Horgan, and “Sneaky Pete’s” Bryan Cranston.
“We believe that by creating a better customer experience around everything that we do will benefit both our customers and the relationship that we have with the Academy voting body. In our eyes, they are all customers and Amazon is continually working to better the customer experience anywhere possible,” adds Benson, who says that the response to the FYC event was “overwhelmingly positive,” especially with respect to showcasing below-the-line staffers.
For Amazon, the massive Emmy push comes as the streamer just topped the Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards this weekend, bringing home 13 statuettes. The company won its first Primetime Emmy in 2015 for “Transparent.”