The Success of Netflix’s Stranger Things Marketing Campaign — Ithaca College PRSSA

REPOST via The Success of Netflix’s Stranger Things Marketing Campaign — Ithaca College PRSSA

After much PR and marketing buzz leading up to the release of season two of Stranger Things, the show finally became available for Netflix users to watch on October 27th. Fans were unusually eager to find out what would happen next in the Upside Down – and for good reason. Netflix managed to heighten the anticipation for the show’s next season with creative guerilla marketing tactics and unique brand partnerships. As we reflect on how successful the campaigns were, here are three lessons to learn from the show’s marketing tactics.

1. Make it interactive.

On the countdown page for the release of the second season, Netflix hid an easter egg which when clicked, flipped the screen into Upside Down mode. In this mode, everything turns dark with creepy music and eerie vines – much like it is in the show. The cursor acts as a flickering flashlight and every couple of seconds, the demogorgon pops out. Ad agency Doner L.A. also created a 1-800 number for the show. It functioned as a real corporate one would with a hold ringtone, menu directions and automated responses, allowing users to report outages or suspicious activity occurring in Hawkins. These tactics are simple yet effective. It doesn’t require much on the marketers end, but it’s a big step in the right direction for peaking consumer interest.

Netflix also partnered with Lyft shortly before the release to give fans an unforgettable ride-share experience. On October 26th and 27th, Lyft users were given the option to switch their app into ‘Stranger Things’ mode which turned the cars on the screen into waffles, string lights, trucker hats and even the logo of the show. On October 27th and 28th, users in certain cities were able to take a ride that included malfunctioning seats, flickering lights, a warped ceiling, an acting driver and an Eggo waffle. While Netflix was able to reap the rewards of giving fans something new and different to talk about, Lyft benefited as well. This leads into our next tip.

2. Get the help of other brands.

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Not only did Netflix choose to partner with Lyft, but they also decided to hone in on the show’s connection to the frozen waffle brand, Eggos. Because Netflix doesn’t offer paid placements, the Kellog Company wasn’t aware that their product would even be used in the show. But after the first season’s success, Eggo was able to use social media to their advantage by posting about the show’s waffle references.

The clothing store, Topshelf, also took to redecorating its London Oxford flagship store for one day in honor of Stranger Things. Spotify, the music streaming platform, used a subtler approach by creating playlists for each of the characters in the show, including ‘Eleven’s Breakfast Jams’ and ‘DemoGorgons Upside Downers’. When a campaign uses other brands to help out its own, it engages a much wider audience than what it would normally reach. With that being said, it is important to only use brands that make sense. The audience of that brand shouldn’t be drastically different and it helps if the tone of the brand is similar to the one being promoted as well.

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3. Use what you have.

As a retailer for the show, Target was able to dedicate an entire section of their website to promoting the new season. The page starts off with 80’s inspired, vintage looking Stranger Things swag, ranging from toys to t-shirts, but as you navigate deeper into the site, regular products such as pudding snack packs and trap keepers start popping up. It’s Target’s way of bringing back 80’s era products that connect to the show. With the help of Target, Netflix was able to give fans of all ages something to talk about by combining the nostalgia of another generation with one of this generation’s most popular TV shows.

As Stranger Things progresses through new seasons, Netflix continues to encourage those inside the field of communications to think outside the box. By turning simple ideas into well-thought out campaigns, the show has managed to set the standard for the way marketing should be utilized in the future.

Sources:

https://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/23469.aspx

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/26/how-netflix-turned-marketing-upside-down-the-return-stranger-things

via The Success of Netflix’s Stranger Things Marketing Campaign — Ithaca College PRSSA

Fast-Food New Advertising Tactic— Courtesy of GIF Apps like Tenor

Marketers are looking to create GIFs that people will use to express themselves within social media communications. The GIF company Tenor says it has data that brands like Wendy’s and Dunkin Donuts can use to create ads tied to specific emotions. Advertisers only pay Tenor when people share these branded GIFs. Wendy’s knows you get…

via Fast-food companies like Wendy’s are watching when you’re hungry and using a new tactic to get your money — Advertising

Tenor (the number 1 GIF sharing app in the Apple app store) studied the habits of user searches on their platform to find a way to sell their product to advertisers. Through their analysis, they concluded users do not search for specific brand names in their GIF store during conversations with their friends. Rather, they search a feeling like “hunger” and use the GIF that fits their mood/thoughts. If advertisers such as Wendy’s and Dunkin Donuts create usable content on Tenor under these categories, their “ads” have a much higher chance of being shared in conversations.

Tenor also sells user data to companies that indicate the times a ‘feeling’ is most often searched. Meaning, fast food restaurants know the times users are most often discussing hunger and pinpoint hungry spikes in user communications.

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Fast food restaurants use Tenor application to pinpoint user huger spikes when users search words similar to ‘hungry.’

If fast-food advertisers can create usable GIF content that directly communicates what  users want to express to their friends, companies can take on a new form of ad space: GIF ads.

This new advertising niche is revolutionary and has the potential to generate more concise, creative jobs within the field.

If there are any creatives out there who are wondering about what to explore next or add to their portfolio— this could be it…

May the odds be ever in your favor,

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Things I Wish My Professors Prepared Me For

Professors Prepared

It has been exactly a year and five months since I graduated Florida International University (F.I.U.). Still, it feels like I was packing lunches to study in the library last week…

F.I.U. was the best experience of my life. I am forever grateful for the professional knowledge my communications professors provided. The issue with college is that one semester really is not long enough to cram years of experience into. Needless to say, there’s a lot of information that falls through the cracks. Professors are coerced into being more focused on passing rates than actually guiding students’ transition into the professional arena.

College students often consider getting a job to be the biggest issue they are going to face after graduation. What is not being taught, is that the real difficulty comes with maintaining your position within that job. It’s one thing to accept a job offer and another thing to actually work and continuously meet all expectations covered within the position.

“Welcome to reality; here’s your desk, here’s your new email address, here’s some random documents on our server, here’s your first 5 assignments, figure it out, good luck!” – Part-time receptionist at the front desk.

This is NOT a joke.

The dirty truth is, the lion din is a place where you either make it or you don’t.

Thankfully, you don’t really die after your first job (although sometimes it feels like it). Instead, you get another job and prep yourself with the knowledge of past failures and prepare for the lions once more. And you do this again and again, until you – somehow – survive. Even then, survival is an everyday battle.

A little dramatic? You don’t know the half of it.

The first skill I wish my professors prepared me to develop before I graduate is ATTENTION TO DETAIL. For some this comes naturally, for others it’s a learned talent. This is especially important for those in communications. Every letter, every design, every email, every project needs consistency and correctness. Don’t trust spellcheck or even your own eyes. Print every document before it is sent and check it twice more after you think it’s good to go. FYI Adobe programs don’t have spellcheck– learned it the hard way once. To help me develop this skill later on, I started solving word searches and reading articles much more often.

Secondly, I wish more professors taught me how to work under time restraints and pressure. After I graduated college I was so used to due dates that extended past several days or even weeks. When I first was handed an assignment at work due immediately, I completely panicked. Panic is everyone’s kryptonite in an office setting. It usually brings huge mistakes and irresponsible overlooks with it. I have never made as many mistakes as I have in an agency where all I did all day was put out fires and work with minute-long deadlines. Therefore, I believe quick exercises that require students to develop a project or train of thought within a short time would be a great addition to the classroom.

Developing a creative, make-it-up-as-you-go attitude can really do wonders within the communications field. In college, we have little room to develop critical thinking skills since we are have been taught what/how to think starting as early as elementary school. In a workplace, your boss will never hand you a nicely outlined prompt for you to highlight and circle. Here there are no guidelines. Here there are no rubrics of how to successfully approach a project. There is only a client/supervisor with an idea you must breathe life into correctly, the first time you approach it.

I hope this post will help others out there, rather it be a student or a professor, to see where they can strengthen themselves to prepare for a smooth transition into the professional world of communications.

Good luck out there,

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TED Talks Releases 101 Summer Reads

For those who missed it, TED released 101 speaker-recommended summer reads.

And this list is #GOALS.

During my workday, as I sweep the internet for new opportunities and partnerships, I like to listen to Ted Talks. I am totally addicted to knowledge. I get so excited when my friends are confused about something and then ask me to update them on studies, news or history. So naturally, I was really excited about this list.

Based off of TED’s programs, I assumed their summer readings would only include academic and theoretic titles. In reality, it’s actually a well-mixed collection with an array of genres and authors. However, a large percentage of the books serve anthropological curiosity.

The books were arranged by 13 summer activities, including the following:

When you’re lying in the sun, when you’re in the mood for adventure, when you want to understand what’s going on in the world, when you’re spending summer in the city, when you’re itching to go back to school, when your kids are restless, when you’re unable to get to a museum, when you’re plotting to conquer the world, when your idea of a vacation is stepping into someone else’s life, when you’re over summer blockbusters and want something with soul and emotion, when you’re prepping for a picnic, BBQ or houseguests, when you want useful information AND when you want to learn from the past.

You basically have a book for every moment ~

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It has been a busy season at the office, so I decided to start with “When you’re plotting to conquer the world.”  Even though it’s almost the end of summer and I’ve only read 3 books from their list, I plan to see it through until the bitter end. I’ve already learned so much from authors Malcolm Gladwell, Maria Konnikova and Ken Robinson! Plus I am feeling soo inspired and confident from “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything” (FYI there’s a free audiobook with this one when you’re trying out audible).

I believe next I will move on to “When you want to understand what’s going on in the world” because I am dying to get my hands on Roxane Gay’s “Bad Feminist: Essays.”

Read the list HERE!

Is anyone else attempting to master this reading challenge?

Cheers,

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