Considering that people are still not advised to gather other than virtually, it’s nearly impossible to execute a fun experiential activation, but HBO Max is giving it a good go. Ahead of the Thanksgiving premiere of its new comedic thriller, The Flight Attendant, the streamer held not one but two virtual experiences to lure people into the high-flying world of the show.
Last Friday, the streamer offered a “coffee-ology” experience to invited guests, press and influencers that involved tuning in to hear a barista teach them how to make three global coffees: an Italian cappuccino, a Thai iced coffee and a trendy Korean Dalgona whipped coffee (check TikTok for confirmation). Two of those three locations—Bangkok and Seoul—are featured in the first episode of the series about a globe-trotting first-class flight attendant with a teensy bit of a drinking problem.
Ahead of the event, HBO Max shipped to participants a “coffeeology” kit including all of the ingredients to make the three coffees, including two kinds of ground coffee from Santa Monica’s GoodboyBob coffee roasters and instant (Ethiopian, not Korean) coffee for the Dalgona. The kit also included oat milk, nonfat milk powder, packets of sweetened condensed milk for the Thai iced coffee (as well as a packet of cardamom and dried flowers for garnish). It also included such required tools as a very clever Pouragami portable coffee dripper, a small whisk, two-tablespoon coffee scoop, long-handled stirring spoon and an attractive mug for drinking.
With all of that in hand, the coffee making could get under way (after first unraveling some technical difficulties).
The barista on hand turned out to be not only proficient at making different coffee drinks but also something of a fortune teller. He started reading the milk froth left in people’s cups after they made and drank the cappuccino, which only required shaking hot milk in a screw-top jar until frothy. One participant—who announced herself as secretary of the Kaley Cuoco fan club, a declaration that later became suspect—had a reading that indicated that she was perhaps being stalked.
Turns out that the barista was actually the one being stalked, and the event ended abruptly when he was kidnapped by an intruder as, apparently, were several of the participants!
This bit of theater, produced by Los Angeles-based experiential media firm Little Cinema, seemed to leave many of the participants confused—and after all the coffee and sugar, jittery—but at least they had great drinks—and authentic biscotti—to keep them company.
After the afternoon coffee comes the evening cocktails and again, HBO Max did not disappoint, sending out cocktail-making kits and gourmet snack packs ahead of Tuesday night’s virtual premiere.
The kits included two vacuum-packed cocktail bags for two drinks: a Mile High Mai Tai (pun extremely intended) and an Amnesia, both of which are on brand for the show. Fancy snacks included cacio e pepe frico (cheese and pepper crackers), chicharrones, rosemary-roasted almonds, dark-chocolate covered edamame and beautiful artisan chocolates—everything participants needed to satiate themselves before settling in to watch the first episode. It also included two mini-bottles of the kind Cuoco’s character favors—and we mean really favors—in the series.
After the screening of the first episode, HBO Max hosted a virtual after-party featuring DJ Cassidy and a virtual rooftop bar in Seoul.
HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, starring and executive produced by Kaley Cuoco, premieres Thursday, Nov. 26 on the streaming service with three episodes available immediately. Two more episodes will become available the following weeks on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 and the final episode will drop on Dec. 17.
The series is based on the best-selling book of the same title by Chris Bohjalian. It also stars Michiel Huisman, Rosie Perez, Zosia Mamet, Michelle Gomez, T.R. Knight, Colin Woodell, Merle Dandridge, Griffin Matthews and Nolan Gerard Funk.
The series is produced by Warner Horizon Scripted Television, Berlanti Productions & Yes, Norman Productions. Greg Berlanti, Kaley Cuoco, Steve Yockey, Marcie Ulin, Meredith Lavender and Sarah Schechter serve as executive producers, and Suzanne McCormack is Co-Executive Producer. Susanna Fogel directs and executive produces the first two episodes.
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