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

First Blog Post

Hi there, my name is Chelsea! I’m a 25-year-old online graduate student living in Miami working two jobs and taking on fun side gigs. Most know me as the Marketing Manager of Planet Stone Inc. and Marketing Partnership Coordinator of USB Memory Direct. They are both multi-million dollar companies that I love representing and flaunting around events and the internet to build SEO and brand awareness. I also love all things Star Wars, Harry Potter, Disney and tennis.

So, for my first EVER post on here, I’m going to be laying an ugly truth on you. Marketing is not my dream job, actually, it’s nobody’s dream job really. It’s kind of like a wand in Harry Potter, it chooses you. More accurately, it’s like Ron Weasley’s first wand when it breaks. As in it never does what it’s supposed to do and most of the time backfires on you. Yet for the rare occasions when it does work, Ron looks at it with pride and stubbornly keeps using it for another chance at a 1% success rate.

Chances are if you came across this blog you’re a stubborn wizard too or you’re looking to get into the field. Either way, I’ve got some day-one ground rules for you:

  1. Get mind-numbingly used to rejection. This goes for any marketing position out there. Get used to the idea of putting yourself on the front lines at the mercy of a stranger on the other side of the table.
  2. Brush-up on those notes you took in that one psychology course required in college. It’s 95% mind games and 5% apologizing constantly. Um, HELLO?! Why aren’t psychology courses the main curriculum for a marketing degree? Wake up professors, every time you get annoyed at a marketer I hope you remember it’s all your fault you didn’t teach us how to make it enjoyable for others. If you could take a few CIA interrogation psychology courses that would also help you tremendously *wink*.
  3. Get organized. Labels, post-it notes, and agendas are your new (and now only) best friends. Sometimes you will be commuting with more people than you know what to do with and people slip through the cracks all the time. For example, on an average week I communicate with more than 150 people. Ever used the Gmail color-coded labels before? I use about five to six labels per conversation. So yah… you get the idea.
  4. Practice positivity. Just like you have to exercise more when you land an office job to promote physical health, you also have to practice more positive thoughts to promote mental health. No, marketing jobs won’t make you looney. I’m just bringing it up because it took me awhile to learn not to put my health on the back burner for work. When you clock out, take a second to clock out mentally too. Don’t bring the stress vibes home and if you do, find a way you can release them like a good cardio sesh.
  5. Make friends in the workplace. Marketing employees and managers are a dime a dozen. Making ties with those you work with only helps your chances of sticking around. Just don’t force it, no one likes the new guy who tries too hard. Share a thought out-loud or email them a question about payday dates or nearby restaurant suggestions. Sometimes around lunch, I’ll ask if anyone is in the mood for the place I’m going to eat at. I’ve made a great group of friends at work this way!

I can guess what you’re thinking already, “so then why do you it?”

Before I answer this here’s a little more insight about me: I’m aggressively competitive, annoyingly motivated, strictly results driven and I am constantly striving to be better than I was the day before. In other words, I enjoy self-torture.

So to answer your question, it’s what I’m made to do :). Like I said, I didn’t find it– it found me and I fought it for years before I learned to embrace it. I’m still learning so much and I just started graduate school in international marketing at Boston University.

Stay tuned for some fun posts about the new things I’m learning, events I’m planning and the fun projects I’m working on.

Try to keep up!