In Summary
  • Final ballots were due by August 28, leaving three weeks for the marketing maestros to catch their breath after one of the most intense "for your consideration" campaign seasons yet.
  • Richard Licata, the CEO of strategic marketing and communications company Licata and Co, and an awards consultant for more than 25 years, says campaigning has become "more frenzied and much more competitive."

With the television landscape more crowded than ever, the clamour to get shows noticed ahead of Sunday's Emmy Awards has been louder and more innovative than ever, according to analysts.

Final ballots were due by August 28, leaving three weeks for the marketing maestros to catch their breath after one of the most intense "for your consideration" campaign seasons yet.

Richard Licata, the CEO of strategic marketing and communications company Licata and Co, and an awards consultant for more than 25 years, says campaigning has become "more frenzied and much more competitive."

"There are upwards of 500 new original shows, there are more networks than there have ever been," he told AFP.

"Winning an Emmy, or any kind of major award, is a great branding device and a badge of honor. But it's getting more difficult to differentiate yourself from the pack."

Licata, one of 21,000-plus voting members of the Television Academy, was responsible for the first Emmys campaign billboard when he was working at the Showtime network in 2006.

"Now, when I drove down Sunset Boulevard for lunch one day, every billboard was a 'for your consideration.' What a difference a decade makes," he said.

And it isn't just the advertising that has exploded, according to Licata, who had 54 DVDs from shows vying for attention piled up on his office floor by the end of May.

"It's a daunting task to be an academy member, feeling a sense of responsibility. I have to watch this programming if I'm going to vote responsibly."

LAVISH SPREADS

Billboards, television spots and ads on the side of coffee cups are all very well, but shows are finding themselves having to come up with increasingly innovative ways of getting ahead of the crowd.

Perhaps the most eye-catching stunt this year came from Hulu, which sent dozens of women dressed in red cloaks and white bonnets onto the streets of Los Angeles to generate buzz for its hit series The Handmaid's Tale.

Hulu's internet streaming rival Amazon booked up the Hollywood Athletic Club for two weeks for screenings, panels, serving drinks at its Goliath bar and hosting a Sneaky Pete-themed gaming room.

Netflix established its own campaign central — a 24,000 square-foot (2,230 square-meter) space it called the FYSee — in Beverly Hills, offering voters lavish spreads, free booze and a photo op area where guests could pose on the bikes of the Stranger Things kids.

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