The Emmy-winning show – an adaptation of the British TV miniseries of the same name – documents the ruthlessly ambitious Frank Underwood’s rise from Congressman to President. The fourth series will be available to watch on Netflix from March 4 2016 and if it picks up where season 3 ended, will focus on Underwood’s fight to keep his place in the Whitehouse.
To promote the forthcoming season, BBH New York has created a witty spot which plays on the patriotic and sentimental imagery often used in political party films. It opens with shots of cityscapes, fields and farmland, and a voiceover that promises: “It is a new day for America – more people will go to work, return home to their families and sleep more soundly than ever before. All because one man refuses to settle,” followed by an announcement from Underwood (Kevin Spacey), who delivers the rather ominous line “America: I’m only getting started” from his seat in the Oval Office.
The spot perfectly captures the show’s dark humour and Underwood’s earnest public image (one which, as regular viewers will know, is somewhat at odds with his astonishingly devious behaviour behind closed doors).
Accompanying the trailer is a campaign website, fu2016.com, which has a slicker look and feel than most official political party sites. Users can watch the trailer or ‘join the movement’ by pledging allegiance to Underwood with a customisable image of his initials which can be downloaded or shared on social media. Users can also download campaign posters, bumper stickers and Twitter and Facebook headers from an online media kit, or sign up to a newsletter. An error message on a page titled ‘meet Claire Underwood’ provides an in-joke referencing the ending to season 2.
On social media, Netflix is using both the official house of cards Twitter account and @FUNDERWOODHOC to post campaign messages using the hashtag #FU2016. The spot has already caused something of a frenzy online – the film has been watched over 300,000 times on YouTube since last night and there have been hundreds of excited tweets about the new series.