Full-page ads in today’s The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post feature a striking image and little text to explain: “The Russians Are Here” says a banner headline, above a Washington Monument shrouded in an old Soviet-style hammer and sickle flag.
Smaller text at the bottom of the page reads: THERUSSIANSAREHERE.ORG. An anti-Trump faction? An alarmist watchdog?
Nah. The ad actually is a well-disguised For Your Consideration ad for FX’s The Americans, and the web address opens with a photo of gun-toting stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys surrounded by laudatory critics’ quotes. Click on the page’s “FYC” icon and up pops a roster of 11 cast members FX suggests is Emmy-worthy.
Another click takes you to a page full of videos of Season 5 episodes, plus a few promos.
FX also ran a 15-second spot on CBS’s Face the Nation today, with a montage of picturesque Washington D.C. locales that ended with the Capitol Building flying the Soviet flag and a voice intoning “The Russians are here” – all to the tune of the the Star-Spangled Banner sung in Russian.
The stealth campaign seems designed to catch newspaper readers unaware, with the colorful – heavy on the red – ad placed not in the papers’ entertainment pages but within the newsy front sections. In The New York Times, for example, the ad – which also includes the nation’s Capitol Building looming beyond the flag-shrouded Monument – sits opposite news articles about Raqqa, ISIS and Syria.
With Emmy voting set to begin tomorrow, the zeitgeisty ad is no doubt intended to cut through the flood of more traditional For Your Consideration pleas. Though the spy series is set in the Cold War ’80s, the topic of Russian interference in Washington has become all the rage again.
Deadline was unable to reach an FX spokesperson this morning.
Clicks on other parts of the FX “For Your Consideration” web page plug such FX-network fare as Feud, Baskets, and Better Things, among other shows.