HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Gift Bag Includes Products From Black-Owned Businesses, Historical Information
Have you guys checked out “Lovecraft Country” on HBO yet? I haven’t, but after seeing “Get Out,” I’m on board with anything Jordan Peele does. And, despite having watched all of “LOST,” I’m still willing to give J.J. Abrams the benefit of the doubt.
Another reason the show looks interesting is the way the production team did its research and paid close attention to necessary details for a promotional campaign.
The show, set partially in the segregation-era U.S., deals with a lot of racial themes, and the promotional campaign was particularly in tune with that when it chose products for the gifts, working with Black-owned businesses and making sure to accurately appeal to a Black fanbase for the show.
WarnerMedia senior vice president of multicultural marketing Jackie Gagne told Variety that they had learned a lot from marketing "Watchmen," another HBO show that heavily touched on racial themes.
“Last fall, we created a space specifically for the [Black fan] community at Comic-Con in support of ‘Watchmen,’” Gagne told Variety. “And then we did BlerdCon [a three-day multi-genre convention, held in Arlington, Va.] for ‘Lovecraft Country’—we did a panel with some of the cast there.”
In the months leading up to the show’s debut, Warner sent out “Lovecraft”-branded gift bags with products inspired by the show. Items were curated from a collection of Black-owned businesses, brands and makers, and included a backpack from Life on Autopilot, Bohten Eyewear sunglasses, books by Tomi Adeyemi and Ta-Nehisi Coates (as well as the “Lovecraft Country” novel), and more.
Take a closer look at each item from the gift bag & please read the "historic footnotes" below. They really offer so much more depth & meaning to the experience. I'm so inspired and moved by how they uplifted & showcased Black talent in so many aspects of this release ❤ pic.twitter.com/qOItCZ1c0s
— Melissa Ng (@lumecluster) August 11, 2020
There’s also a notebook that Gagne says is a “field guide” to understanding the cultural backdrop of the show, giving more detail on the Black heroes of the show, and providing information about the brands included in the box.
“Given everything that’s going on, I think that that’s something that people really embrace and honor, and really want to support in a big way,” Gagne added. “We take a deep dive into the passion points and the interest of our fans. Given the genre-bending nature of the show and all of its nuance, it was really important that we thought about the multiple audiences here.”
It’s a great example of a marketing team doing its due diligence, and providing more than just a one-size-fits-all campaign. By digging into not only the subject matter of the show, but the specific demographics and intersecting identities of fans, Warner and HBO create a poignant and memorable campaign, which should translate into viewership and critical acclaim.