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How Netflix Won The Super Bowl Advertising Race

Feb 5, 2018

Whether you watch the big game or not, commercials never fail to score with uber Fans and non-football-loving viewers alike. An estimated 103.4 million people tuned in this year which is a little lower than last year, but it’s still by far the most watched program on US television.

The Super Bowl is also the most expensive time to advertise, this year the price tag for 30 seconds of airtime was $5 million, and that’s not including the expenses of pre-game promos and productions costs. That’s enough to raise the blood pressure of ad execs almost as much as the Philly fans at final whistle. This week, let’s take a look at one commercial that managed to shine above the others, mostly due to it’s daring and innovative approach.

The Netflix commercial was one of the best kept Super Bowl secrets, with only a few news sources publishing vague rumors less than 24 hours before it aired. In an unprecedented move, Netflix announced their new blockbuster-equivalent title, premiered the trailer for the new movie, AND announced that it would become available immediately at the conclusion of the game.

Details of the JJ Abrams produced The Cloverfield Paradox has been kept very hush-hush, keeping with the tradition of the other titles in this franchise: Cloverfield and Cloverfield Lane, both of which also had outside-the-box promotional campaigns. Adding to the shock was that, until the series of Super Bowl ads, it was widely believed that the film would enjoy a Theatrical release via Paramount.

Netflix are infamous for keeping their viewership figures a mystery worthy of Stranger Things, so there’s no news as to how successfully this gamble paid off for the online network.

We do know that NBC’s episode of “This Is Us”, got the best after-game numbers in 6 years: 27 million people tuned in. How many did that leave for Netflix. We’ll likely never be informed.

Regardless, the move was bold and shocking, and potentially a game-changer for the timeline of movie promotion.

Traditionally, marketing for a movie would kick off up 6 months before the release date, but research tells us that Millennials (the prime demo for this title) love surprises, after all they’ve come to age in a world where immediate gratification is the norm and not the exception.

What does it mean for your Video Promotion? The primary takeaway is that “Event Marketing” or time-sensitive releasing of content is growing ever more imperative, especially to those with younger target audiences.

At Front Runner Films; we do urgent! Check out the video below for a case study of one of more recent projects we completed with a super tight turnaround. Want to know more? Email us

Get to Know Front Runner Films

Front Runner Films is a corporate video production company telling humorous and heartfelt stories helping bring products, companies and passion to light.

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