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Emmys 2019: Streamers Turn to Stunts for Final Voting Campaigns

When billboards and magazine ads aren’t enough to grab more attention during prime Emmy voting time, streaming services are using all of Los Angeles as their stage.

Screenings and Q&A panels with series casts and producers are essential for exposure ahead of nomination-round voting, and during that March-to-June window, social-media friendly activations and stunts have become all the rage, too. During final-round voting, the latter tactic is being used more than ever before to create more personal experiences for voters.

“In a crowded marketplace, we are always looking for ways that we can connect with our customers in an impactful and provocative way, but also on a more personal level,” says Mike Benson, Amazon Studios’ head of marketing.

Amazon went all-out this year for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” its most-nominated comedy (20 nods). The streamer first partnered with Whole Foods locations from the beach cities to the San Fernando Valley to wrap show branding on parking spots, shopping carts and reusable grocery bags. But it also worked with Los Angeles institutions such as the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, Mel’s Drive-in and Pink’s Hot Dogs, as well as Chevron and Drybar to offer services at 1959 prices for an event dubbed “‘Maisel’ Day.”

Fleabag,” which received 11 total noms, got the pop-up treatment with a guinea pig cafe for a few days in mid-August. This was the first such stateside experience, allowing visitors to play with real guinea pigs, as well as munch on snacks and take home souvenirs.

Benson notes what is most important about the activations is that they are “natural extensions of the worlds created by the shows,” which is what makes them so unique and memorable.

On a slightly smaller scale but similar in sentiment, to celebrate and remind Television Academy members that its quirky period comedy “Pen15” scored a coveted comedy writing nom this year, Hulu sent ’90s themed snack coolers to writers’ rooms all over the city. Designed to feed hard-working scribes’ sense of nostalgia and literal hunger, the coolers are branded with stickers and imagery from the show and consist of candy, chips and sodas from Gushers and Fruit by the Foot to Bugles and Mountain Dew.

And Netflix teamed up with Pressed Juicery to offer a limited number of “Queer Eye” juices at nine locations around L.A. Each of the Fab 5 were paired with a popular flavor, and these were complimentary to anyone who went into those stores, not just voters.

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