Our Flag Means Death: Upcoming Renewal Events

Our Flag Means Death: Upcoming Renewal Events

Happy Monday! Well, it would be happier if Our Flag Means Death had been renewed for a second season over the weekend. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but we certainly have plans.

A group of Our Flag Means Death fans have created a Twitter campaign account to herd the throngs of wayward queer people into one concerted effort to get the show renewed.  Right now these efforts are circling around hashtag trending.  This is an excellent way to get attention of both social media at-large, and anyone at HBO who happens to pay attention to Twitter trending topics.

Whenever we get something trending I take a snapshot and send a postcard of it to HBO Max.  There are several services that will allows you to create postcards from screencaps and will send them on your behalf. I’ve used postable in the past. They’re easy to send, you know, just in case the people who make these decisions somehow missed it.  How helpful this is, I’m not sure. But I definitely want them to know about it even if they happen to not be on Twitter when it happens.  Every little bit helps.  We’re trying to get their attention after all. There will be more information on this later.

If you want to participate in these events, it’s super easy! Let’s go over how to do it.

#RenewAsACrew Trending Event

The first renewal event coming up is the #RenewAsACrew trending campaign scheduled for Tuesday May 3rd.  It’s important to NOT use that hashtag until the designated time.  Twitter algorithms detect rapid rises in hashtags being used, so if you use it before hand it’ll have a more difficult time getting to the top. 

The following tweet has details about when exactly we should start:

Another event will happen on May 14th.  The trending tag will be released by the people who run that account closer to the date so that it doesn’t accidentally get used ahead of time.  Give them a follow and keep an eye out for more information.

These campaigns are excellent and basically anybody can participate.  Twitter is free, so if you don’t have an account you can easily make one.  Heck, use a burner email if you really don’t want to be part of the twitter community.  Send some tweets and then dip.  It’s fine.

If it’s at an odd time for, you can just schedule tweets.  Just be sure you’re scheduling them for the right time because the time zone function on Tweet scheduling apps can sometimes be a bit tricky.

You can even save all your planned tweets as drafts and just start firing them off when its time if that’s easier.  That tends to be what I do.

Our Flag Means Death Postcard Campaign

In my very first article about renewal efforts, 5 Things You Can Do to Help ‘Our Flag Means Death’ Get Season 2, I outlined how to send postcards and why that’s so important.  Here’s an excerpt from that article:

Networks tend to also be run by fellow Old Persons who may not be hip with the Twitter. As such, this old school option shouldn’t be dismissed. It’s easy to sit back and send a tweet, but snail mail will reach people you may not have reached online. And, equally as important, it shows you are willing to step away from the keyboard and put in a little extra effort.

So where do you send things? And how? 

HBO’s corporate office address is as follows:

30 Hudson Yards
New York, NY 10001
USA

You can address it to individuals, though those will likely be screened by some sort of secretary or assistant. As mentioned, Casey Bloys is the President of Programming for the network. VPs for Programming include Amy Gravitt, Francesca Orsi, and Nina Rosenstein. The VP for Original Programming (and Our Flag Means Death fits in that category) is Amy Hodge.

The Our Flag Means Death renewal campaign account that’s running the hashtag trending event has also put together a handy little guide on this exact subject.  If I wasn’t absolutely positive that the people behind that account knew what they are doing, I certainly would be after seeing this.  They’re experienced and we should definitely help them achieve these goals.  It’s good for all of us!

Each card I’ve sent has averaged about USD$3, which has included printing and shipping through Postable.  This isn’t a sponsored post at all, so feel free to look around at others. You might find them cheaper or easier elsewhere.

If you want to send postcards but are having some roadblocks, feel free to personally reach out to me on Twitter.  I’m happy to help.  Don’t be shy.  Truly. I’m a major introvert so I get it, but if I can help you send a postcard to HBO I will bust out of my introvert shell and guide you where you need to go.

New Our Flag Means Death Renewal Idea: Send Them Weird Things

The postcards are awesome and easy and cheap.  Almost anyone can do it.  But perhaps you want to send something that’ll get a little bit more attention. If you’re weird, have a little bit higher of disposable income range, and want to make an impression, sending weird things is an excellent step up in the game.  It’s actually a fairly common tactic!

Roswell fans sent bottles of Tabasco to the WB because the alien characters loved putting it on all their food (especially the sweet stuff).  We apparently sent over 6,000 bottles to the network (or so the story goes).  It worked! We got more of the show as a result.

Jericho fans sent a few tons of peanuts to the network hoping to get their attention.  They apparently received about 20 tons.  This one worked and fans got a few more episodes to finish the plot.

The CW was inundated with Mars Bars in an effort to renew Veronica Mars.  They supposedly received over 10,000 Mars Bars to them, but the show ended and had to rely on crowdfunding for more. It was a noble, effort, however, and won’t be forgotten any time soon.

So what do we send? 

Message In A Bottle

I’ve send HBO Max a message in a bottle.  If you aren’t crafty, you can find a shop on Etsy to create one for you.  I used this one and should have it sent out in a few days time.  You can definitely make your own message in a bottle, though! I just happen to not be super crafty and chose to purchase mine.

You can send bottles directly through the mail, too!  Having the HBO mailroom staff suddenly start receiving bottles with their normal mail is sure to get some attention. Here’s some instructions.  This is definitely a fun option for super crafty folk.

If the postal worker looks at you funny for sending a bottle through the mail, that’s fine.  Sing the praises of the show to your poor befuddled post office employee, and convert them to crew!  One of us! One of us!

40 Orange Glaze Cake

I haven’t made any moves on this one because of logistical challenges.  If we sent them a cake, it can’t be home made.  We’d need it to be from a licensed bakery with, you know, health inspections and all that jazz.  I have spent a couple hours looking through bakeries and haven’t found any that sell orange cakes.  We could definitely try to order a custom one if enough people like this idea.  Unfortunately a custom cake is out of my personal price range and I’d need other fans to help with this.

The second logistical challenge is making sure it gets where we need it to go.  Anyone who works in an office will tell you that the receptionist can be a bit hard to get past.  We could address it to the “HBO Programming Department,” but if they aren’t expecting it, it may never actually get there and be lost in receptionist hell.  I would need someone on the inside to help coordinate that aspect.  Unfortunately I do not have that connection right now.

If you have connections to a bakery in New York City and/or someone in the HBO offices who can make sure it gets to its destination, please reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you.

Coconuts

My grand plan over the weekend was to find a coconut, decorate it, and send it through the mail. Yes, you can send coconuts directly through the mail! Unfortunately I had trouble finding a good one and had a missing-wallet mishap and this just didn’t happen.  I may give it another go, though, if there’s no word in the next few weeks.  Right now I’m focusing on my message in a bottle.  Trust me, though, I’m going to circle back to this one in time.

If you don’t happen to live in Hawaii, that’s fine!  You can order them online here and here.  Help us support local, y’all!  Hawaii has been hit hard by the pandemic and the tourism industry completely crashed.  We could use some funds into our local economy.  As a resident of the islands, I appreciate you for doing this if you can.  Mahalo.

A Campaign In Person?

Gathering in person for a renewal effort can be a bit dicey.  If anyone wants to pursue this one, take great care not cross over into creepy or stalker territory.  That said, it has been done before so it’s worth a mention.

Chuck fans (and actor Zachary Levi) went on a Subway sandwich buying spree.  This was intended to support advertisers for the show and convince the network that it was financially beneficial to them.  It was a unique in-person event that certainly got a lot of attention.

Fans of Felicity showed up in person to the WB studios to ask for more of the show.  The actors were involved in that one, too.  It seems the best way to do in-person events is to have actors ready to help.

If this sounds cool to you, get to brain storming! Because I don’t have many ideas on this one.  I, quite simply, live too far away to be of much use on that front.  That said, I will be at San Diego Comic-Con in July and if we don’t have word by then, I might be up for a meet up!

A Billboard or Airplane Banner

This is a very common tactic that’s been used for years.  I would personally hold off until the end of May before sinking the amount of money needed into this.  HBO is moving through a big merger right now, which may be impacting these kinds of decisions.  Based on some chatter from anonymous people in the know, that should be wrapped up near the end of May.  If we don’t hear anything by then, we can pull out the Big Guns.

Shows that have hired billboards to convey their message include The OA, MacGyver, Daredevil, Shadowhunters, and many more.  The most common location for these billboards tends to be Time Square, and if we do this, that’s not a bad idea.  However, those are expensive and short.  We could brain storm a different location perhaps near their studios that could stay up a bit longer.

Meanwhile, shows like The Expanse and Timeless rented some airplane banners.  San Diego Comic-Con is a great event to target with this particular effort, so if we don’t hear anything by July, perhaps this is something we can persue.

This Is A Lot of Information. TL;DR What Do I Do?

The Twitter campaign is free and literally everyone should do it.  In a similar vein, postcards are cheap and anyone with a small budget should do it.

If you have a bit more disposable income, start sending them weird things.  Messages in a bottle and coconuts are fairly easy if you know where to look, or happen to be crafty.  The orange glaze cake would need more effort.

If you live in New York City or will be attending an event where HBO has a presence, maybe find some local friends and plan something in-person.  Remember to be kind and respectful!  This one is a bit tricky.

If things start to stretch into June or July, we may need to pull together our resources and hire a billboard or banner.  Let’s sit tight on that for a few more weeks, though.  Twitter and mailing things should be our top priority for now.  We’ll get to the big efforts when we need to.

Have fun! And let’s do this.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.


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