Is Netflix Trolling Trump With Today’s Grim Teaser for House of Cards?

'We couldn't possibly comment'

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

As many gather in Washington today to witness Donald Trump's inauguration as president, Netflix leveraged the moment to share its own dark depiction of the nation's capital.

At 10:30 a.m.—about an hour before Trump's swearing-in—Netflix sent out a tweet with an ominous trailer for the fifth season of House of Cards, which begins streaming May 30.

With the dramatic tagline "We make the terror," the 30-second spot plays up the series' shadowy depiction of government under Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood and features an upside-down flag—the series' logo and also a symbol of distress—waving in front of the Capitol. Doner LA is the agency behind the campaign.

Netflix is no stranger to slightly creepy and cryptic advertising when it comes to promoting its original shows. Last month, the brand posted a series of mysterious social posts for The OA and found a way to work around ad blockers to run an ad for the dark, technology-focused show Black Mirror in November.

Whether or not other brands weigh in during today's inauguration will be interesting to see. Brands like L.L.Bean, New Balance and Kellogg's have struggled in recent months to maintain political neutrality when their brands pop up in the news alongside Trump, whether they ask to be part of the conversation or not.

One marketer who seems more than willing to be part of the conversation is Expedia, which today rolled out an ad about global togetherness during CNN's coverage of the inauguration.

Client: Netflix

Brand: House of Cards

Agency: Doner LA

Jason Gaboriau EVP, Chief Creative Officer

Zihla Salinas EVP, Managing Director

Mike Cessario Creative Director

Drew Brooks Design Director

Andy Pearson Writer

Liza Behles Writer

Sara Schwartz VP, Brand Leader

Scott McDonald, Producer

Production: Exile

Producer – Toby Louie

Director of Photography – Adrian Correia

Production Designer – Rodrigo Cabral

Art Director – Alison Bauserman

Executive Producer – CL Weaver

Head of Production – Jennifer Locke

Production Coordinator – Manon Carrie

Editor – Will Butler

Assistant editor – Brandon Lawrence

VFX: Saint

VFX Artist – Miles Essmiller

VFX Producer – Kristina Theogersen

VFX Executive Producer – Helen Park

VFX Supervisor – Rob Trent


Sound Design & Mixer – Jeff Malen

Music and Sound Design: JSM Music

Joel Simon-CCO

Jeff Fiorello – Executive Producer

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.
Publish date: January 20, 2017 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT