A non-traditional marketing program for a non-traditional streaming channel. Sounds like business logic to us.
Netflix has come a long way, going from being a DVD rental distribution network, to popular streaming channel, to one of the leading providers of original programming. Its original program offerings include House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and various Marvel superhero-themed shows. It’s managed to amass an impressive audience of millions of viewers, which continues to grow with its lineup for the past month, including an all-new Pee Wee Herman film (Pee Wee’s Big Holiday) and the highly anticipated second season of Marvel’s Daredevil.
So how does Netflix advertise its movies and shows? Not the traditional way. While TV commercials have done well to promote its lineup, the company has taken a unique route with advertising them, including the following:
Making Marvel comics mature
Where most of Marvel Studios’ productions are produced for fans of all ages, Netflix’s slate of shows based on popular comic books have a much more mature approach. Daredevil and Jessica Jones have violent and sexual themes that are better suited for adult viewers, while forthcoming shows like Luke Cage and The Defenders will probably follow suit.
While this may turn away younger Marvel fans, it caters to an incredible audience of older comic book lovers that make up a huge demographic for the streaming service. As a result, Netflix recently extended its deal with Marvel, which will introduce a number of characters that will be getting their own shows, among them being Spider-Man 2099, Moon Knight and The Punisher, who makes a blood-soaked debut in Daredevil’s second season.
Reaching a global audience
Where most companies struggle to find ways to cater their content to other countries, Netflix has dialed in a system that has given it huge appeal in international markets, reaching 130 new countries over the past year alone. It has broken down region-related issues, while offering the same level of diverse programming that appeals to its mainstream U.S. audience.
“We found not just approaches that will make Netflix better for those signing up in the 130 new countries, but in fact better for all Netflix members worldwide,” the company noted. “Our global journey is just beginning and we look forward to making our service dramatically better over time.”
A custom look
Netflix has put a lot of work into its imagery so that users can more easily discover and connect with the content they love. That includes a design that could feature the appearance of actors that are in their favorite show, or drawing in newcomers with the introduction of a new program.
“We have 30 seconds, 60 seconds or 90 seconds to capture your interest,” Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt told Variety. “It’s best to catch the viewers’ attention with something that will draw them in, or risk losing them to another service.”
That, paired with customized recommendation lists that caters to what audiences like to watch, make Netflix more of a personable service than most on the market, helping add to its appealing marketing campaign.
Traditional advertising that breaks tradition
Netflix does use some traditional advertising, but does so in a big way, such as with a full-page ad for its Marco Polo series or with a clever billboard backed a social media campaign, like the one promoting Daredevil‘s popular second season in Canada. Their sponsored programs for Orange Is the New Black in the New York Times and Narcos in the Wall Street Journal have been big hits, too.
Netflix has gone through a lot of advertising changes over the past few years, but thanks to savvy business decisions, the right level of programming and a unique promotional push, the company has proven that the non-traditional route of getting consumers on board is quite effective. There’s plenty more to come in April, when shows like the new Danger Mouse and the new season of the comedy The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are set to premiere.