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