Netflix Social Campaign
For our Social Media 2 class, we had to pick a company and design a social media campaign and strategy. Putting my pop culture knowledge to good use, I suggested Netflix as a company. Considering it’s a household app that virtually everyone has, it wasn’t hard to convince my group members to agree to it.
The Context and Challenge
After doing a social campaign for a real client, designing for a client that would never see our work felt like much lower stakes. However, I’ve always made a personal point to try and impress all my professors in the same way I would with clients. In theory, our only difference was a much smaller audience for our presentation, no prize money, and the pressure to be extra thorough in our research and content creation. After all, we’d done this once before, now we needed to do it better.
It was an especially interesting time for Netflix with many articles coming out announcing the end of the ‘Golden Age of Streaming’ as numerous competitors were popping up. Most importantly, Disney+ had been announced and we knew that it was a crucial time to set themselves apart from the competition. Taking on a brand that is known as king and creator of its platform might seem like an easy choice, but it just meant the bar was already set so high and the overall goal would be to make it higher as the streaming platform became oversaturated.
The Process and Insight
We did some research into the competition and social media audits for Netflix, but a lot of our decisions were based off of my knowledge of the competition. In fact, all the articles cemented these observations. With Disney+ having access to Star Wars and Marvel, it was only a matter of time before Netflix lost contracts for their content. They needed something to keep the fantasy and sci-fi fans from leaving for the competition. They had to leverage their original content, increase user engagement and keep their lead in the streaming race.
We split up content by shared, owned, earned and paid, and started creating content for their calendar. We looked into transmedia options to keep users engaged outside of the couch and considered original themes for social campaigns.
Through some of our research, we realized an intersection point that united Netflix’s key demographic, their content, as well as one of their main critiques: environmentalism. With so many servers keeping streaming happening so quickly and consistently, critiques had been brought up on Netflix’s effect on the decline of the environment. With a large selection of documentaries and content aimed at global warming and climate change, as well as a large environmentally conscious demographic, it only made sense that Netflix should go green. We designed a green logo and created a campaign that would raise money for environment focused charities and organizations that went hand in hand with environmental education by watching documentaries. In short, each view of a documentary would help raise money to make actual change in the word.
We also focused on podcasts and behind-the-scenes bonus content that was focused on original content like Bojack Horseman and Final Space, shows that Netflix was praised for, but also ones relevant to their approaching #1 competitor. We also launched a Netflix & Quilt campaign that promoted multitaskers watching their favourite content on Netflix, which also showcased that fantasy and sci-fi content wasn’t just made for the stereotypical fanboy demographic, but for everyone!
With a slightly smaller team and the comfort of a client that I was intimately familiar with, I felt comfortable taking a leadership role in the group and overseeing delegation of content, scheduling of our work pace, as well as directing the path our social strategy would take. I shot and recorded the behind-the-scene podcast episodes as well as the video interviews for their Instagram and other social accounts.
I made sure that everyone was paired up with content that matched their strengths. Whether it was meme posts for social, logo and animation design, or blog writing and activism research, everyone excelled at their work. When all the content came together, we were left with a cohesive campaign with lots of room for growth and extra content, even though we had far more deliverables than was necessary for the guidelines of the assignment.
Weirdly enough, as if there were a mole in our midst, Netflix started implementing disturbingly similar tactics as the months passed. From creating a social account specifically for sci-fi and fantasy content, to creating even more fantasy and super-hero content, even to stepping up their already exceptional user engagement game. It was very validating to see not only see how our campaign tactics were implemented in real life, but also to take notes on what else we could have done.