To get more Indians hooked on to the upcoming season of ‘House of Cards’ (scheduled to release on May 30), online streaming giant Netflix has taken a local route with its new digital ad featuring actor Alok Nath and stand-up comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath. Released on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, the 5-minute short video quickly encapsulates all the key happenings in the previous season’s so that viewers are updated should they wish to now watch the upcoming season. It raked in 81,805 views and 150 comments on YouTube, 275k views and 1.2k shares on Facebook and 149 likes and 56 retweets on Twitter at the time of filing this report.
The humorous ad has father (played by Nath) and son (Rath) bonding over ‘House Of Cards’ where the son educates his father on the plot of the show by quickly taking him through the previous seasons. The father gets carried away by the protagonist Frank Underwood’s schemes to the extent of thinking of using the latter’s ways in his own life. Ultimately it intrigues him enough to catch up on the show. Netflix’s new ad also tactfully promotes its latest download feature for offline viewing towards the end.
The online streaming giant, in fact, had earlier uploaded 20-second teasers from the digital ad on Facebook and Twitter. Before that it also showcased trailers from the upcoming political drama series on social media platforms.
This is the third time that Netflix has launched an ad focusing on a show and humour has always been the dominant flavour here as it mostly featured stand-up artists. Earlier it had roped in Tanmay Bhatt, Sumukhi Suresh and Utsav Chakraborty for their promos featuring shows ‘Narcos’ and ‘Orange is the New Black.’ However, this is the first time Netflix has incorporated a show’s plotline for its latest ad’s narrative to lure viewers.
Netflix’s marketing strategy in India is mostly restricted to digital with its first social campaign #LifeWithoutNetflix launched last July, bringing a digital brand-film titled ‘Commitment’. This was followed by several digital ads featuring standup comedian Kanan Gill and even Bollywood filmmaker Anurag Kashyap which used tongue-in-cheek humour to communicate its brand message. Most of the times it has worked especially its #TryThisAtHome, which takes a dig at New Year revelries that raked up more than 3.2million views on Facebook alone in a week, striking a chord with thousands to receive more than 8k shares and more than 98k reactions on Facebook.