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Saturday, July 16, 2016

For Your Consideration...

Okay, so where am I?
Not everyone can look like this in a rented Vera Wang tux. #LifeGoals
Now that the Emmy Award nominations have been announced I've gone underground for a few days, escaping Los Angeles, ever so briefly. I mean, really, how many Emmy consideration billboards for obscure shows on networks I’ve never even heard of can I handle in one drive down Sunset Boulevard? I have a sneaking suspicion that more people will see the billboards than the actual shows.

I'm sure you're sitting there saying, "Surely you exaggerate. How many billboards could drive you from the palm tree lined greatness that only Hollywood can deliver?" Let me tell you, there are a ton. I counted 37 on my 5.9 mile drive from one part of the city to another. Thirty-seven! 

(See them all in the For Your Consideration gallery below!)

I used to buy billboards and outdoor media every summer when I worked for the giant swimming pool supplies conglomerate. Gotta sell those outdoor pools, right? I poured over thick stacks of data to buy just the right billboard, at just the right stretch of land, at just the right point near each store. I had to stretch every dollar because there isn't much margin on a bucket of chlorine tablets. I found myself growing more and more jealous of those media buyers at AMC, Hulu, Netflix and F/X with their seemingly endless budgets, clawing over each other to grab as many billboards as possible. No strategy, just spend, spend, spend.

With an average per billboard cost around $11,000 a month in Hollywood and Los Angeles' Westside, that's over $800,000 spent on outdoor advertising in May and June. Factor in printing costs (upwards of $2,500 per) and we are closing in on some serious cabbage spent on just the advertising I saw on my short drive that took well over an hour to cover.

Sheesh! An hour to go six miles. What a life! Yet I digress...

The $4 Million Emmy Care Package
Emmy campaigning has become a cottage industry. Once the Oscars are handed out, publicists kick into high gear, vying for key roundtables, spurring ad buys and getting screeners in the right hands. The competition is fierce with more than 400 scripted series on the air and over 100 programmers across cable, broadcast TV, and streaming services. That's a lot and remember there are just seven comedy and drama series slots. And that’s not even counting the acting, reality, movie and limited series races.

What's the cost for a campaign? A small Emmy push will cost you upwards of one million dollars and big campaigns can easily cost over ten times that. But buying billboards won't do the trick. Insiders will tell you that you have to do something disruptive. And huge.

Weighing in over 20 pounds with more than 25 original series included!
Netflix took that disruptive advice to heart. The mail-order/streaming service sent out their pre-Emmy care packages to film and TV critics. This isn't your average package. The care package includes physical copies of every episode comprising the over 25 original series and features eligible for this year’s Emmy Awards. It’s a humongous, 20-pound, four-box set. The cost? $4 million dollars.

Holy geez! But well worth it. The company amassed a record 54 nominations. That's only $74,074 per nom. That's not too bad, is it?

Adding to the cost is that every mailer has to be sent through the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’s internal shipping service. The cost there is around $1,750 per episode.

All this adds up to some serious dough. However, I'm worries about the $275 Vera Wang tux and shoe rentals for the red carpet photo shoot on September 16th. I'll be there but still waiting for a chance to earn a Primetime Award to go with my Daytime win.

For Your Consideration...the 2016 Emmy Billboards.