Entertainment studios have long been creating over-the-top, clever premieres and promotions for TV shows and movies. If you’re launching a new product or service, here are some ideas for you.
FLASH MOBS AIN’T DEAD
To celebrate Freddie Mercury’s birthday and promote the new biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, British Airways staged a flash mob at Heathrow Airport in London in September. Baggage handlers performed a routine choreographed by Lyndon Lloyd for travelers in the Terminal 5 baggage claim. The back of the jackets featured the British Airways logo, and travelers were given hand-drawn fan posters to hold.
Photo: Joseph Pippen
To promote season two of FX’s Snowfall, which follows the crack-cocaine industry in Los Angeles in the 1980s, the network teamed up with CSM LeadDog on a public promotion in L.A. in July. The event drew 1,100 fans, plus the show’s cast, to an immersive art experience inspired by the show’s setting and culture. Eighties-inspired sneakers hung from a wall, creating an eye-catching visual.
Photo: Courtesy of FX
In one area, neon signage displayed a quote from the show, and a couch resembled a vintage car.
Photo: Courtesy of FX
Upendo Taylor was one of several local artists to create installations for the event; his piece was a car painted with ’80s-inspired designs, set against a backdrop of palm trees.
Photo: Courtesy of FX
‘Buying It Blind’
To promote its new reality series Buying Blind, which follows six couples who buy houses without actually seeing them, Bravo created a series of eye-catching stunts in November in New York (pictured), Los Angeles, and Chicago. Three existing homes in high-traffic areas were covered in colorful packaging that asked, “Would you buy this house sight unseen?” The wrapped houses, which are actually on sale, were also advertised on Zillow and Trulia. 360i and the Bait Shoppe worked on the promotion.
Photo: House Studios
At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con in July, USA worked with Campfire at the Mill on “Purge City,” a darkly comedic pop-up that promoted the new TV series based on the Purge movie franchise, where all crime is legal for 12 hours once per year. Inspired by a Party City store, the shop displayed everything from emergency candles and masks to energy drinks and stain removers, plus interactive components and tongue-in-cheek demos. (See more photos from the event here.)
Photo: Evans Vestal Ward/USA Network
To celebrate the 15th season of medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, ABC teamed up with PopSugar for an art gallery in Los Angeles in September. Featuring art curated by THNK1994, the gallery hosted a V.I.P. cast party before opening to the public. In one area of the gallery, guests could don silent disco headphones and “dance it out”—one of main character Meredith Grey’s favorite pastimes.
Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images
‘My Dinner With Hervé’
The premiere of the HBO film My Dinner With Hervé, which covers the life of actor Hervé Villechaize, took place in October in Los Angeles. The event, which was designed by Billy Butchkavitz Design, featured a step-and-repeat inspired by Villechaize’s first career as a painter in France. The title of the film was displayed in portraits of various paintings against a green wall.
Photo: Gabor Ekecs
‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’
Netflix held the premiere party for its new series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in October in Los Angeles. An immersive “house,” which was designed by MKG, featured spooky photo ops and props inspired by the show. Following the premiere party, the experience was opened to consumers. The 1,500 attendees could make flower crowns and receive makeovers sponsored by Teen Vogue. The makeovers also asked them to choose between light and dark themes, like pink or black lipstick and flowers in darker or lighter shades. (See more photos from the event here.)
Photo: Marissa Joy Photography
‘The Good Cop’
For the New York premiere of Netflix’s The Good Cop in September, guests could get their own “mugshots” in the photo booth. The new series stars Tony Danza and Josh Groban as members of the New York Police Department.
Photo: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
HBO celebrated its miniseries Sharp Objects, based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name, with a screening event in June in New York. The event, which was designed by the Gathery, featured multiple installations inspired by the thriller, which starred Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson. One installation was a dollhouse version of the Crellin family home featured in the series.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO
Ahead of the season three premiere of comedy series Insecure, HBO hosted a carnival-inspired music festival in a Los Angeles stadium in July. The event, which was produced by Team Epiphany, featured classic carnival games with cheeky twists, such as “friend zone”-theme cornhole. There was also larger-than-life Connect 4, Pop-A-Shot basketball, and more.
Photo: Dorothy Hong