The Best ‘For Your Consideration’ Campaigns Ahead Of This Year’s Emmys

From passive-aggressive to mildly offensive, U.S TV Networks are leaving no billboard unplastered in their pursuit of Emmy nominations.

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We know by now that America loves a big, flashy campaign. Simply speculating about the next Presidential election is giving the press a boner — never mind that the election doesn’t roll around until 2016.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that US television networks have begun to aggressively campaign for Emmy nods on behalf of their superior shows (sorry, Two Broke Girls fans). An extremely competitive field is emerging in both the Best Drama and Comedy categories, and with a large number of shows jostling just for nominations, the ‘For Your Consideration’ campaigns, as they’re known, are more creative than ever.

For Your Consideration campaigns aren’t your standard ‘ad in the newspaper’ kind of press; this is clever cut-through advertising that seeks to remind voters of the elements that make each show exceptional.

AMC, home to Breaking Bad (the last 8 episodes are eligible), Mad Men and The Walking Dead, has come out swinging on behalf of each program.

Los Angeles is being treated to billboards of Walter White in shadowy profile, taking us back to the terror and tragedy wrought by the final stages of his transformation. Breaking Bad took out Best Drama in 2013, and it’s hard to imagine another show that could top it this year.

Breaking Bad

That won’t stop Mad Men from trying, though.

AMC’s gorgeous, vintage-inspired ads channel the unparalleled mood of the show and highlight the complexity of characters like Don Draper and Peggy ‘motherfucking’ Olsen.

Meanwhile, The Walking Dead is out to make a point. Consistently snubbed by the Emmys, as most genre shows are, its gritty billboard series announces, “For Your Consideration. Something Human.”

While it’s a poignant reminder that The Walking Dead is a very human show, winning a Drama nomination could still be a stretch — if there’s a genre show that truly deserves recognition, it’s Orphan Black.


At the grassroots level, The Walking Dead fans are crusading for an Emmy on behalf of Melissa McBride, who plays Carol. Lending weight to this push, Community actress Yvette Nicole Brown is in the TV Academy, and has announced that she is voting for McBride. If the campaign proves successful, it’ll be the best news for Carol since a zombie ate her douchebag husband.

An example of her outstanding commitment to ‘the work’ can be seen below.

Showtime, which houses hot contenders like Homeland, Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan, is stepping it up even further, with a whizzbang website that allows voters to watch all eligible episodes, plus “print and online ads in key trades, a major consumer media buy, and ads on over 100 buses targeting key routes in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area”. Don’t hold back, guys.

Showtime’s cheekiest ad is for Shameless, which has shifted into the comedy category after being ignored as a drama, and which isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself.


Netflix’s Orange is the New Black is also shifting from drama to the comedy category. But the competition there is just as crowded, with shows like Louie, Parks and Recreation, House of Lies, Episodes, Veep and of course the towering, award-swallowing beast that is Modern Family.

Comedy Central’s approach for Key and Peele has kept it topical, with a billboard that references Racist of the Moment Donald Stirling. Considering the Clippers are an L.A. based team, it’s sure to make the intended impact.

Key and Peele

Ultimately, my favourite approach so far comes from CBS, on behalf of The Good Wife. In its recent ‘For Your Consideration’ mailer sent to Emmy voters, CBS included a bar graph that points out the difference in episode count compared to its cable TV rivals.

For sheer passive-aggressiveness, it cannot be beaten.


The graph also makes a pertinent point. The Good Wife builds beautifully complex, consequential stories for a full 22-episode run, yet must compete with big-budget experiments like True Detective that benefit from ten-episode seasons. After Breaking Bad, The Good Wife is the most deserving of recognition come award season.

The nominations are announced July 10, and we will find out whether or not these expensive campaigns paid off for the networks. At the very least, they’re certainly more compelling than your run-of-the-mill erectile dysfunction billboards.

Lisa Down is a freelance writer living in Sydney.