Netflix Motion pictures Technique: Watch on Streaming, Not in Theatres

Forward of Tudum 2022, IndieWire spoke with Netflix CMO Marian Lee about her movie advertising and marketing technique, “Squid Sport,” and being the place the followers are.

Netflix followers are about to have a busy weekend, and so is Netflix chief advertising and marketing officer Marian Lee. On Saturday, the streaming large’s Tudum fan occasion will quintuple in dimension and go international.

Tudum started in January 2020 as an in-person occasion in a single market, São Paulo, Brazil. The Covid pandemic disrupted that complete in-person factor, however on September 24 the occasion is again — and it’s supersized.

Named for the streaming service’s start-up sound, Tudum is now made up of 5 occasions from all over the world, providing “extra content material, extra reveals and films, extra expertise,” and sure, “extra information to interrupt,” as Lee mentioned in a phone interview with IndieWire.

Tudum is Netflix’s D23 and its Disney+ Day rolled into one. It’s not fairly San Diego Comedian-Con, however Tudum serves as a robust — and managed — complement to current fan conventions. “I wouldn’t say we don’t take a look at these occasions, however we’re actually making an attempt to place our personal mark on one thing,” Lee mentioned. “What do we now have that’s actually distinctive right here? We, simply within the final 10 years, have actually developed this large library of I.P. and franchises.”

These embrace the mega-hits “Stranger Issues,” “Bridgerton,” “Squid Sport,” and “The Witcher,” all of which will likely be represented at Tudum 2022. “We’re actually simply making an attempt to deliver all these fandoms collectively, have a good time them, give them a technique to join on to expertise,” she mentioned. “We is perhaps debuting issues they haven’t seen earlier than, any sort of exclusives.”

Assembling all of that may trigger inside “chaos” for her staff, Lee acknowledged: “It’s sort of like ‘A Stunning Thoughts’ mapping it out on a wall.”

Squid Game S1

“Squid Sport” Season 1.


“Squid Sport” stays Netflix’s largest-ever international hit, which helps clarify why this yr’s Tudum kicks off in Korea, the place the collection originated. A present like that can promote itself for the upcoming Season 2, however launching a brand new collection is the place Lee’s advertising and marketing staff can actually shine. Even viral sensations can use a serving to hand; Lee’s toolbox features a B.A. in Psychology from Barnard Faculty at Columbia College and eight years as a prime Spotify advertising and marketing govt.

The South Korean smash, which amassed a mind-numbing 1.65 billion hours seen in its first 28 days, “undoubtedly had advertising and marketing,” Lee mentioned. In different phrases, the “Squid Sport” success didn’t simply come by phrase of mouth. “It had advertising and marketing all all over the world. Now, was [the viewership level] sudden in sure markets? Like, did we expect it was going to resonate as a lot because it did within the U.S.?” she mentioned. “Definitely not initially.”

However Netflix’s Korean advertising and marketing staff laid the “actually spectacular groundwork,” Lee instructed us, together with full-set buildouts within the largest native shops. There was “bespoke advertising and marketing throughout Asia,” she continued, and when the present actually began to take off, Lee’s UCAN (United States and Canada, which is what she ran on the time) staff ramped up its efforts to “take the warmth on this one.”

And it was smoking scorching. “That’s whenever you noticed moments being created, and activations, and the costumes in all places,” she mentioned.

“The Grey Man” activation at San Diego Comedian-Con.

Hitchhiker Photos for Netflix

In dialog, you may inform how a lot Lee digs activation. One in every of her current favorites was tied to “The Grey Man,” the big-budget (particularly for Netflix) spy-vs.-spy flick starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans that had a one-week theatrical run earlier than premiering on the SVOD service (which can quickly add an AVOD tier).

At this summer time’s Comedian-Con, Netflix created an expertise that gave followers the expertise of being Six (Gosling) and Lloyd Hansen (Evans). In San Diego, followers boarded a faux tram that faux crashed right into a faux constructing, similar to a “Gray Man” scene that befell within the Prague metropolis heart. They accomplished challenges to maneuver from one automobile to the subsequent earlier than escaping to the highest of the tram, with subwoofers, rumblers, and soar scares  to enhancing the episode.

“The Grey Man,” which is Netflix’s fourth most-popular film on document, is a franchise that can develop with a sequel and spinoff collection. For the movie(s), Lee is glad sufficient with the temporary big-screen choice, nevertheless it’s not her desire.

“Netflix is the place that we wish followers to look at movies that they love, or sit down with their household to look at a brand new film,” she mentioned. And to this point, so good on the Netflix approach of selling motion pictures — which is, to say, not doing a lot advertising and marketing in any respect.

“From a advertising and marketing perspective, what we’re doing is totally different than main studios” who’re “making an attempt to promote a ticket,” Lee mentioned. “However, once more, we’re making an attempt to drum up anticipation and pleasure for our [movies] so that folks can finally watch them on Netflix. [We’re] not targeted on getting them into the theaters for the brief run… for the (awards present) qualifiers. To me, our followers are on Netflix and that’s what they like.”

A zoomed out view of Netflix's

A zoomed out view of Netflix’s “Grey Man” activation at SDCC.

Hitchhiker Photos for Netflix

Tudum Korea kicks off Saturday at 11 a.m. KST, which is 10 p.m. ET Friday (or 7 p.m. PT). The “International Fan Occasion” portion begins with Half 1 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on Saturday. Half 2 begins 90 minutes later.

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