“It was the first time we’ve done anything like this,” Lara Richardson, chief marketing officer for Crown Media Family Networks, said in an email. “One thing we hear time and again from viewers is that, as much as they love our products, they want to get into a ‘Countdown to Christmas’. movie.”
Vacation homes are also getting immersive. For families, Airbnb teamed up with BBC to list the Heeler House, a real-life incarnation of the animated house in the beloved animated series ‘Bluey’, and VRBO has 10 rental properties inspired by ‘Yes Day’, the 2021 Netflix film about parents who Eliminate “no” from their vocabulary. Celebrities are jumping in too: Issa Rae, creator and star of HBO’s “Insecure,” offered an exclusive look at her South Los Angeles neighborhood in February with a special Airbnb listing, for a rock bottom price of $56.
Tea on TV, now in London (and Boston)
“Bridgerton”, Netflix’s British period drama about family, love and brutal gossip, was streamed by 82 million households in 2021. (By comparison, the 2013 finale of “Breaking Bad” had 10.3 million viewers; more recent streaming hits, including “Tiger King” and “Maid” had less than 70 million).
When season two of “Bridgerton” premieres on March 25, Beaverbrook Town House, a hotel built in two Georgian townhouses in London’s Chelsea, will offer a “Bridgerton” experience, including a day out in London and drinks on the British country; near Lanesborough, a Bridgerton-themed tea, cheekily dubbed “the social event of the season,” will start the same day. In Boston, the Fairmont Copley Plaza now has a “High Society Package” for fans that includes flowers and a private afternoon tea.
Contiki, the group tour company for 18- to 35-year-olds, had a “Bridgerton” themed itinerary for September 2021, but had to scrap it when the Delta variant hit; they’re now teaming up with Amazon Prime on a trip to the Hawaiian Islands, inspired by “I Know What You Did Last Summer” set to take place in July.
Both Netflix and Amazon Prime have brand partnership teams that handle such collaborations.
“As we emerge from this pandemic, the desire for more immersive experiences is truly stronger than ever,” said Adam Armstrong, CEO of Contiki. “It’s about putting yourself in the shoes of destinations and creating those Instagrammable moments that mimic things from movies and movies. It’s a really strong focus for us.”