It’s diabolically clever – a brazen stunt to get attention just as Emmy voting starts, but, hey, that’s showbiz. To reach voters, FX is smartly grabbing headlines and tying them into the network’s most critically acclaimed drama series, “The Americans.”
For the past 48 hours, FX blitzed TV, web and print with ads in L.A., N.Y. and Washington D.C. declaring “The Russians Are Here” just as the U.S. is engulfed in government investigations into how Russians may have infiltrated our elections and White House.
But FX actually means Russian agents in the 1980s – back when “The Americans” is set while Ronald Reagan was in the White House and Washington D.C. and Moscow played out the last spooky moves of the Cold War. Ads encourage readers to visit TheRussiansAreHere.org, which is a FYC site for the program that was finally nominated last year in top Emmy races for its fifth season: Best Drama Series, Actor (Matthew Rhys) and Actress (Keri Russell).
The 15-second TV commercial features glimpses of the White House and Capitol Hill draped in a Soviet flag while a male choir sings “America the Beautiful” in Russian. It ran during “60 Minutes” and “Face the Nation.” Some TV outlets declined to air the controversial spot because it didn’t include a logo for FX or “The Americans.”
Print versions in the L.A. Times, New York Times and Washington Post similarly show the Washington monument or Capital Hill.