The iconic Upper West Side apartment where Jerry Seinfeld dwelled on Seinfeld for nine seasons has been recreated in downtown Manhattan as part of Seinfeld: The Apartment, a pop-up installation created by Hulu to let fans know that as of June 24, every episode of Seinfeld will be available on the streaming service.
"We did our best to pay homage and to get it as close as humanly possible to the original," says Jenny Wall, SVP, head of marketing at Hulu. "We actually were lucky enough to track down and talk to the original set designer. He lives in New York, and he gave us some really amazing insight. And we were able to get some exact pieces from the set, and we sourced replicas, getting as close as possible to everything from the cereal boxes to the bike on the wall to the books."
Built by event marketer Magnetic Collaborative and housed at Milk Studios in the Meatpacking district of Manhattan, Seinfeld: The Apartment is open to the public free of charge June 24-28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day and also includes a Seinfeld museum featuring several notable items from the show, including the New Jersey Devil’s jersey from "The Face Painter" episode, the Happy Face oven mitt from the "The Puffy Shirt" and the Frogger arcade game from "The Frogger."
The original booth and table that Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer always sat in at the diner is also there. It's part of Jerry Seinfeld's personal collection of show memorabilia, and he loaned it—and other pieces—to Hulu for the exhibit.
You can’t sit in the booth, though. It is roped off. That said, this isn’t an entirely look-but-don’t-touch exhibit. Interactive elements allow fans to recreate the famous George Costanza photo shoot from "The Package," and do their own take on a Kramer-style entrance into Jerry’s apartment. For those who don't have a friend with them to snap photos and shoot video, Hulu brand ambassadors will be there to help out, and the hope, of course, is that people who have immortalized their own Seinfeld moments will share them via social media with #SeinfeldApartment.
While museums typically have months to put together an exhibit, Hulu and Magnetic Collaborative only started working on Seinfeld: The Apartment at the end of April after Hulu signed the deal with Sony Pictures Television. "We jumped on it quickly as possible, and I’ve worked with Magnetic before on an HBO Boardwalk Empire campaign, and the Netflix [Arrested Development] Banana Stand. So I knew who exactly to call, who could get this done for us," Wall says, noting that Hulu wanted to go big with this promotion.
Having spent 20 years working in marketing for the likes of HBO and Netflix prior to joining Hulu, Wall acknowledges that networks and streaming services need to continually up the ante when it comes to publicizing their content, citing the role the consumer plays in getting the word out. "We need to recognize the kind of involvement that our consumers have in helping us talk about our shows, and we need to reward and celebrate them where we can," Wall says. "It sounds cheesy, but we do this for them. We put the viewer first, and with this, we want to make sure that they have as good of an experience as we had putting it together because we’re big fans of Seinfeld as well."
Milk Studios is located in Manhattan, right near the High Line, at 451 West 14th Street.