Tagged: digital marketing

What North American Companies Can Learn From Japanese Ad Campaigns

- by Alyson Shane

If you’ve ever seen a Japanese ad or commercial, you’ve probably watched it and said, “wtf is this” — and you’re not alone.

Having just spent a month in Japan, I was struck by the stark difference between Japanese and North American advertising. Their ads often feature people in costumes, anthropomorphic items and animals, and characters making silly or exaggerated faces and sounds.

Aka, it's the complete opposite of most of the marketing campaigns I've seen here in North America.

As someone obsessed with marketing and storytelling, I loved being immersed in a different culture and seeing how Japanese brands market their products and services.

In this post, I’ll explore how North American companies can find more engaging and memorable ways to connect with their audiences by embracing silliness and being weird the way Japanese brands do.

Let’s start by comparing some ads:

Cup Noodle Japan

Predictably, Cup Noodle is a brand of instant noodles popular in Japan. I saw ads for these on subway trains all over the country, and they often involved people in weird situations interacting with a life-size cup of noodles.

Let’s start with a Japanese Cup Noodle commercial:


Now let’s take a look at an ad for instant noodles from another Japanese company that’s targeted at North Americans, Ottogi America Inc.:

Night and day, right? While some aspects of the Japanese commercial might not necessarily land with a North American audience (the grandpa being held by a Cup Noodle angel at the end is a weird vibe), the ad is fast-paced and unpredictable and basically the opposite of what you’d expect from a company selling cups of noodles.

God of War: Ragnarok

I didn’t actually see it while I was in Japan, but I wanted to include it because it does a great job of showcasing the contrast between how North Americans market something and how they do it in Japan. Check it out:

I read the Google Translate description of the video, and I’m still not 100% sure what’s going on here.

Now let’s compare it against the American trailer:

I actually love both versions of these ads, but the contrast is pretty stark: the North American version relies on celebrities. It comes across as more satirical (and tame) than the Japanese version.

It also portrays playing the game and dressing like Kronos as the men are trying to be better dads to their kids — framing GoW, Kronos’ beefy physique, dressing like a Viking, and playing a violent videogame as “masculine.”

The Japanese version, by comparison, contrasts what arguably sounds like a children’s song against a violent, pretty macho video game.

SoftBank’s “White Family”

I don’t remember where or how I discovered this series of ads back in the early 2000s, but these weird, quirky commercials stole my heart and probably set me up for the love of Japanese marketing that I still hold today.

The long-running campaign, which focused on the (Shirato) White Family headed by Otousan (“Father”), who is a white dog, was one of the most successful and long-running ad campaigns in the country’s history.

As of 2012, the campaign had reached 133 “episodes,” but here are a few to give you a sense of what they’re like:

(Also, don’t sleep on the Tommy Lee Jones cameos!)

As you can see, very few of these commercials actually talk in detail about the phone company or the plans themselves. Mostly they’re little vignettes about the family and the things they’re doing.

The commercials are weird, but they’re also charming and memorable.

Now let’s look at a North American ad that also features a talking animal:

Did you notice that Geico’s ad followed a lot of the same tropes that the SoftBank ads did? 

By featuring an unusual animal who talks (and who is kind of abrasive to the humans around it, just like Otousan), they can create a quirky, memorable ad that promotes their offerings without being too heavy-handed about it.

Differences Between Japanese and North American Ads

Now that we’ve looked at a few examples, let’s break down the key differences between ad styles according to research:

Style Differences

  • Japanese commercials are less informative than American commercials.
  • Japanese commercials emphasize product packaging and availability, while American ads emphasize price, quality, and performance.
  • Japanese commercials use a soft-sell approach with short messages, songs, celebrities, female voice-overs, and still graphics.
  • American commercials use a hard-sell approach with long messages, animation, male spokespeople, and humour.

Cultural Differences

  • Japan is a ‘high-context society’ whose communication needs are answered through familiar symbols and icons rather than logical recommendations.
  • The US is a ‘low-context culture’ requiring Western rhetoric and logical tradition to communicate thoughts and actions.

What Can North American Brands Learn?

Be Weird

As you may have noticed, a key element of Japanese advertising is being silly and weird. 

Japanese ads often feature bizarre imagery (see below for an example), unusual characters, and unexpected scenarios. By embracing the unexpected and breaking away from traditional advertising tropes, companies can create more memorable and engaging ads. Weirdness can also help companies stand out in a crowded advertising landscape.

Key takeaway: Don’t be afraid to lean into weird, memorable characters or make them a bit annoying or unlikeable for the sake of the joke.

(Here's an example of some weird ads for pistachio snacks I saw in Niigata.
Why is that pistachio so smarmy?!)

Use a “Soft Sell” Approach

Japanese commercials often use a soft-sell approach with short messages, songs, celebrities, female voice-overs, and still graphics. 

This approach can be more subtle and less aggressive, which can be more appealing to some audiences.

Key takeaway: Avoid being too heavy-handed. Tell a story that resonates or excites your audience where the product you’re promoting comes second to a memorable ad.

Use (and Create!) Familiar Symbols and Icons

As we saw in the SoftBank ads, Otousan became something of a cultural icon in Japan. By incorporating or creating characters who can become cultural symbols (think the polar bears for Coca-Cola), campaigns become more easily recognizable and familiar to audiences.

Experiment with Pattern Interrupts and Pacing

As we saw with the Cup Noodle commercial and how a few SoftBank commercials cut between scenes, the Japanese aren’t afraid to jump around. 

Cutting frequently between scenes is called a “pattern interrupt” and is an effective tool (also employed by YouTubers) to keep the audience’s attention focused on whatever they’re watching.

Many Japanese ads also end abruptly or in weird and unexpected ways. Not knowing where the plot is going is another way of keeping viewers engaged right until the very end.

Key takeaway: Don’t be afraid of experimenting with pacing and surprising your audience with a twist at the end of your ads.

Play With Satire

Although both the God of War: Ragnarok examples played with satire, the North American one played it safe by linking the GoW series to “manliness” and easily identifiable gender norms.

The Japanese ad, on the other hand, threw gender norms right out the window and went with an ad that could have easily been mistaken for a kid’s commercial. 

While the North American ad is fine (I liked it, personally), the Japanese sing-song ad stands out more because it almost feels like it’s making fun of the ultra-macho GoW series instead of leaning into a predictable masculine theme.

Key takeaway: Don’t be afraid to lean into satire and juxtapose different elements of an ad against the product you’re promoting.

Get Inspired for Your Next Ad Campaign

Japanese advertising offers a refreshing alternative to traditional advertising, and North American companies can look to these types of ads for inspiration.

So, the next time you’re creating an ad campaign, consider adding a little bit of silliness, embracing the unexpected, and making fun of yourself and your product. Who knows, you might create an ad that people will remember for years to come.


17 of The Hottest Reels Trends Your Business Can Recreate

- by Alyson Shane

With the rise of short-form video content, Instagram Reels have quickly become a go-to platform for creators looking to share engaging and entertaining content with their followers. However, as with any social media platform, staying relevant and up-to-date with the latest trends is crucial to maintaining your audience's interest and expanding your reach.

Following Instagram Reels trends is a great way to achieve this. By staying on top of what's popular and in demand, your content will remain fresh and engaging to your followers. Not only does this help you stay relevant and connected to your audience, but it also increases your chances of going viral or gaining more followers, as users are more likely to engage with current trending content.

But there's more to following Reel trends than just staying current. Participating in trending Reels can also inspire creativity and help you develop new ideas for your own content. It’s also an excellent way to connect with other creators and build a sense of community within the platform.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular March Reel trends and discuss how you can leverage them to create successful content that resonates with your audience. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting with Instagram Reels, these trends will help you stay ahead of the curve and make the most of this dynamic platform. So let's dive in and explore the March Reel trends together!

Three Ways to Find Trending Reels

Scroll Your Reels Feed 

As you spend time scrolling through Instagram Reels, it's easy to keep up with the latest trending sounds. Just keep an eye out for the small arrow in the bottom left corner of your Reels explore page. 

Once you tap the sound, you'll find out where it originated, how many other Reels are using it, and which creators have already worked their magic with it.

If you're not feeling camera-ready just yet, no biggie. You can save that sound for later and come back to it when you're feeling inspired. 

Get Inspired By TikTok

Instagram will hate that we are saying this, but trending TikToks tend to become trending Reels a few weeks later. And it’s much easier to find trending TikToks — you can literally just type in “trending sounds” in the search bar. But, remember to find the sound on Instagram before you post and don’t upload it as an original sound. 

Follow @Creators for Weekly Trending Reels

The @creators account is a goldmine of insider info and valuable resources for creators.

Pro tip: every Friday, the Instagram team themselves share the hottest Reels trends of the week. They also post tips and facts about the ever-changing algorithm. However, we find these are often geared towards creators and not businesses. 

Trending Reels This Month 

We know, coming up with Reel ideas and then executing those ideas can seem like a lot. But, you don’t need to overcomplicate them. We’ve compiled 18 currently trending reels that you can quickly adapt for your business. Take a look!

Reels to Share Tips

These reels are short and easy to recreate with your own spin. We might even try some of these ourselves! 

Reels for people who don’t want to lip-sync 

There are always a ton of trending sounds you can use with “b-roll”, like footage from an event, production of your product, or even as simple as your feet on a walk! 

Reels to Show Off Your Products 

If you have a product-based business, there are endless Reels on Instagram you can recreate. These are as simple as holding your product in your hand, packing an order, and our favourite: telling your audience how your product/service can solve their problem. 

Reels to Celebrate

Have you hit a milestone? Finished your work early for the week? Signed a new client? These Reels are quick to recreate and allow you to share your success with your audience. Try them! 

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A post shared by Grow ur following & engagement (@instaclubhub)

Reels That Show What You Do 

These Reels are the easiest ones to film, IMO. Simply prop your phone in a place that can record you while you work and record a time-lapse over trending audio. We also love the idea of sharing your favourite tools you use at work, an office reorganization, or a compilation of anything important to your business. 

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A post shared by MARIE | BUSINESS MENTOR FOR ONLINE COACHES (@marieewold)

Reels That Transition

Do you feel like getting fancy? These Reels are a step up from easy, but they are still doable and work for a diverse range of products and services. 

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A post shared by Chitra Das (@curious.chitra)

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A post shared by Zara (@zaras.lego.world)

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A post shared by Print Collective by Fiorella (@printcollectivebyfiorella)

Reels For Re-Introductions 

Don’t forget new followers may not know much about you. Try to re-introduce yourself at least quarterly. As you can see, there are several different ways to do it! Tag us if you give it a try — it’s a guaranteed like and comment from us ;) 

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A post shared by CAIT | blogger, lifestyle, homestead (@caitoaks)

There's no shortage of ways to make your brand stand out on social media when using Reels. So why not start experimenting with these trends today? 

If you’re looking for help creating content for your social media platforms, drop us a line! We have over 22 years of experience publishing content online and would love to help.


How Digital Marketing Consulting Can Help Your Business

- by Alyson Shane

The world of digital marketing changes every day.

From SEO updates, to shifts in posting strategies across social media networks, to digital advertising best practices — it can be hard to keep up and keep meeting your growth goals.

Working with an expert who offers digital marketing consulting can help you level-up your online strategy and edge past the competition. They bring a fresh perspective, ideas, and tactics to the table that you might not have known about or considered, and that can make all the difference.

That is, as long as you find a competent expert to work with.

One of the challenges with partnering with a digital marketing consultant is now knowing what you’re getting into, and what you’ll get out of the process. 

That’s why we’ve put together this overview what you can expect, and how investing in digital marketing consulting can help your business:

1. Audit your progress

The key to developing a successful plan is understanding what you’ve done to date and comparing it against industry benchmarks.

A digital marketing consultation compares things like your goals, target audience, and what you’ve done across all your marketing channels (social media, your website, newsletter, ads, etc.) to find ways to better align your actions with the outcomes you want to see. 

An audit might also include reviewing the copy on your website, blog, and your newsletter to make sure that your messaging is on-brand and you’re using keywords and language that are Search Engine Optimized (SEO).

2. Develop a new digital marketing strategy

One of the biggest outcomes of a digital marketing audit is the strategy that is developed during the process. 

This starts with a SWOT analysis which assesses your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This gives the consultant insight into how you run your business, your position relative to your competition, how effective your digital marketing has been to date, and more.

Other things that need to be developed include Audience or Buyer Personas, lists of competitors, and other supporting documents that codify how your business engages (or doesn’t) with your ideal customer base.

All of this information will be used to assess what you’ve done to date, the platforms and strategies you should be using, and develop an outline to help you start implementing the findings. 

3. Create a high-converting sales strategy

Paid advertising is a “must” for most businesses looking to stay competitive. Google Ads (also known as Pay-Per-Click, or PPC ads) generate $2 in revenue for every $1 spent

Whether you’re new to the world of digital ads or you’ve been running ad campaigns for a while, getting a fresh take on the return-on-investment (ROI) of your ads can help you increase sales and generate more leads.

However, Google Ads aren’t the only option — a digital marketing consult will help you determine which advertising channels will get you the best ROI as well as areas like:

  • Audience segments and targeting
  • Geo-targeting 
  • Keywords
  • Duration
  • Budget
  • … and more!

4. Establish your KPIs

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator, and refers to a set of quantifiable measurements that you can use to gauge your overall performance.

A digital marketing consultation will walk you through which KPIs and metrics you should be tracking in order to meet your specific goals and objectives. Your consultant should also explain how different KPIs relate to one another so you know how to gauge your success.

For example, when your social content has a high Reach but low Engagement, it means that your audience is seeing but not interacting with your posts. This is a sign that you need to find content that resonates with your audience in a more meaningful way to encourage them to engage via Likes, Comments, and Shares.

Ready work with a digital marketing consultant with over 20 years’ experience publishing content online? Drop us a line and let’s chat!

5. Drive growth across multiple channels

Omnichannel marketing is the process of creating a cohesive brand experience across multiple channels, like your social media, website, newsletter, ads, and more.

The best digital marketing consultants have experience with a wide range of marketing platforms and can help you think about how different elements of your strategy interact with and influence each other.

They can also help you think strategically about how your brand sounds on various platforms while staying consistent to your “brand voice”. 

After all, people talk to each other differently on LinkedIn and Instagram, but you might need to be active on both platforms — do you know how to “code switch” while still sounding authentic? A competent digital marketing consultant can show you how.

6. Help you develop processes for success

The key to great digital marketing is being organized and staying on-task, but this is easier said than done, especially if marketing is just one part of your job function.

A digital marketing consultation will help you take a top-down view of all your digital marketing channels and help you think about how to develop processes to keep everything running smoothly.

This can include how-to documents that you can refer back to, suggesting (and sometimes setting up) project management tools, and even creating visual frameworks so you can see how all the pieces of your plan connect at-a-glance.

How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Consultant in 4 Steps

Hiring a digital marketing consultant is an investment, so you want to make sure you’re spending your money on someone who will deliver the value you’re looking for.

If you’re not sure what to look for, here are five qualities to keep an eye out for:

1. Do they have the right experience?

Digital marketers come in all shapes and sizes, with different levels of expertise and focus. If you’re looking for something specific, make sure they have experience in that area.

When researching potential experts to work with, pay attention to the clients they’ve worked with in the past, as well as the size and types of businesses they typically work with.

2. Can they “walk the talk”?

A digital marketing consultant should be able to showcase their knowledge by how they market themselves and their firm. Look at their website, social media accounts, and their overall approach to how they market themselves online.

Don’t be fooled by flashy graphics and name recognition: if the company in question isn’t actively “walking the talk” then they aren’t worth your time.

3. Are they credible?

Anyone can make a claim about their abilities and results, so make sure to find testimonials and social proof from online sources before deciding which expert to hire.

4. Are they knowledgeable?

You’re hiring someone to help educate you and set you up for success, so they need to have the knowledge and expertise to give you solid advice and answer any questions you may have.

Whoever you hire should have in-depth knowledge about digital marketing best practices, shifts and changes in trends, and lots of hands-on experience.

How Digital Marketing Consulting Can Help Your Business: Conclusion

There are lots of reasons why you might be considering hiring a digital marketing consultant, but the key to getting your money’s worth is hiring someone competent, knowledgeable, and who you feel you can trust to point you in the right direction.

If you’re looking for a consultant with over 20 years’ experience publishing content online, drop us a line and ask about our free consultations.

If you’re interested in levelling-up your own digital marketing knowledge, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for the latest news, trends, and insights you need to grow your business.


Everything You Need to Know About Outsourcing Your Digital Marketing

- by Alyson Shane

Do you have questions about outsourcing your business’ digital marketing?

If you’re struggling to figure out if your business is ready, you may be wondering:

  • Why should I outsource my digital marketing?
  • Should I keep my digital marketing in-house?
  • What parts of my digital marketing should I outsource?
  • What are red flags to look for when selecting an agency?

If you’ve wondered any of these things, then this post is for you. Let’s dive right in:

Why Do Businesses Outsource Their Digital Marketing?

There are lots of reasons a business would outsource its digital marketing, but here are some of the most common:

You’re not seeing the results you want from your in-house team/person

Many businesses outsource because their in-house team isn’t meeting their goals.

This could be due to inexperience, disorganization, or a cultural mismatch. Whatever the reason, your marketing is always behind. If it’s been a few months (or even years) since your business has launched a new campaign or tried a new strategy, then it may be time to outsource your marketing.

You don’t have the resources to scale in-house

One person often isn’t enough to manage all of a business’s digital marketing needs. After all, graphic designers aren’t copywriters or social media managers, and vice-versa, so you may still have skill gaps you need to fill to meet your marketing goals.

If hiring 2-3 more people is out of your budget, hiring an agency is a cheaper alternative that can give you the variety of skill sets you need to see success.

You’re task-driven, not strategy-driven

Posting for the sake of being active on social media isn’t a strategy.

As a business, you have revenue goals that need to be supported by your digital marketing strategy. While it may feel good to know you’re posting 3-4 Instagram posts a week… that posting doesn’t do you any good if there’s no strategy behind it.

If you’re not happy with your existing digital marketing strategy, then it may be time to outsource to an agency.

You have no reporting structure in place

If you aren’t able to measure the results of your efforts then you’ll never have a clear sense of where new business is coming from.

A qualified agency will work with you to set up a reporting system (we submit ours monthly and on a per-campaign basis) which will include a breakdown of what worked, what didn’t, and suggestions for building on successes.

If you don’t have a reporting system in place, then outsourcing to an agency can give you the clarity you need to make data-driven decisions about your digital marketing.

Why Outsource Digital Marketing? Your Questions Answered

Before we talk about the benefits of outsourcing your digital marketing, let’s answer a few of the questions we hear most often:

Is outsourcing digital marketing cheaper?

Outsourcing your digital marketing to an agency is almost always cheaper than hiring in-house staff - usually by significant amounts, too.

Consider this: you could pay a single person to handle your marketing strategy, copywriting, social media, blogging, email marketing, SEO, landing pages, paid ads, and reporting.

Or, you could spend the same amount and have an entire outsourced team handling the same workload.

Consider the costs, scope, and quality of the work of a single person vs. a team of people, and it’s easy to see how outsourcing becomes the most affordable option.

Is outsourcing digital marketing easier to manage?

Yes, outsourcing is easier to manage than in-house marketing because you don’t have to manage an external team the same way you would with an employee.

Qualified agencies will have processes in place that will keep projects and campaigns running smoothly behind-the-scenes, allowing you to focus on your business without feeling the need to constantly check-in.

Does outsourcing guarantee a higher level of expertise?

Yes, outsourcing almost always guarantees a higher level of expertise than hiring in-house.

This is especially true if your business relies on new grads and less experienced marketers due to salary limitations. Most newbie marketers lack the hands-on experience needed to develop, manage, and execute a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Agencies, on the other hand, are typically founded by and employ digital marketers with years of experience, often in a variety of areas.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Digital Marketing

Let’s talk about the best parts of outsourcing your company’s digital marketing!

Outsourcing gives you outside insight into your business

Hiring an outside agency can give you a fresh perspective on how to approach your digital marketing.

Any qualified agency has a rigorous onboarding process that allows them to develop a deep understanding of your business, your customers, and how your products or services solve those problems.

This work, and the work of measuring and reporting consistently on your digital marketing, offers insight into your business, making them a valuable partner.

Outsourcing gives you access to experts

As we discussed earlier, the level of seniority and expertise that a business can access through an outside vendor is often much higher than they could hire for in-house.

Not only will you work with more experienced marketers, but qualified agencies will always be on the lookout for innovative new tools and techniques to amplify their efforts on behalf of your business.

Outsourcing guarantees a return-on-investment (ROI)

Put simply, agencies have a vested interest in generating continued ROI for your business, or else they risk losing your retainer. This means they’ll continually work to find new ways to make campaigns more successful, increase open rates, and generate more interest about your business online.

(If you don’t feel like you’re getting that level of service right now, let’s chat.)

Red Flags When Outsourcing Digital Marketing

We’ve spent a ton of time talking about all the benefits of outsourcing, but what about the red flags? What are some signs that the agency you’re considering might not be all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take a look:

They don’t walk the talk

Let’s face it: a lot of marketing agencies (older ones, especially) tend to offer digital marketing services to stay competitive, not because it’s their passion.

As a result, you can tell pretty quickly which agencies are experts in areas like digital marketing and content strategy, and which are faking it for clients.

When considering who you want in charge of your digital marketing strategy, ask:

  • Do they post to their social media profiles regularly?
  • Is their content friendly, helpful, and interesting?
  • Do they show creativity and innovation in the content they share?
  • Do they have a newsletter, and is it any good?
  • Do they blog regularly to demonstrate industry expertise?

If the agency you’re considering doesn’t do any (or even some) of these, then they may not actually have the depth of knowledge and experience needed to deliver high-quality results.

They won’t show past or current work samples

Whether that’s sharing links to past or present client work or providing case studies, a qualified agency should be able to point to at least a few success stories.

If you’re considering working with an agency but they’re giving you the runaround on actual work samples, consider this a huge red flag and take your business elsewhere.

They force long-term contracts

No matter how great or experienced an agency might be, you’ll both need some time to get to know one another and decide if your partnership is something you want to continue long-term.

If an agency is pushing for a multi-year contract before work has even begun, consider this a red flag.

Outsourcing Digital Marketing - Final Thoughts

Figuring out what to do with your digital marketing can be stressful, but outsourcing your needs to a qualified agency can bring strategy, clarity, and quality to your business’ online presence.

As we’ve covered here, outsourcing is a cost-effective way to work with digital marketing experts who work hard to consistently deliver ROI for your business.

If you’re ready to take the next step and work with an agency to grow your business, drop us a line and let’s chat.

Still not ready to take the plunge? No worries! Our weekly newsletter will keep you informed with all the latest hand-picked digital marketing news and strategies. Subscribe now.


Lessons From Netflix's Super Bowl Ad for The Cloverfield Paradox

- by Alyson Shane

Even if you don't watch football, the results of last night's Super Bowl LII should have left you with your jaw on the floor.

No - we're not talking about how the Eagles pulled ahead at the last minute thanks to the touchdown pass caught by QB Nick Foles; we're talking about Netflix's surprise ad and movie release for The Cloverfield Paradox. 

For those of you who may have missed it, Netflix sprung a trick play on audiences by investing in a highly-coveted Super Bowl ad for the latest installment in J.J. Abrams' sci-fi franchise Cloverfield: The Cloverfield Paradox. 

The ad, which aired during the second quarter, ends with text which reads: "coming very soon" which was followed by an announcement from Netflix stating that they would begin streaming the film online immediately after the game.

Naturally people began freaking out about it online, hailing it as one of the most innovative ways to market a box-office film ever. Netflix's edgy, innovative strategy upended traditional assumptions about how movie advertising is done, and it's likely that things will never be the same.

Even if you're not in the business of making movies (also called "show business") there's a lot brands from other industries can learn from Netflix's groundbreaking move. 

Let's explore:

Experiment With Your Approach

We all know that buying a Super Bowl ad is one of the most effective (and expensive) ways to showcase your brand, product, or service to a captive audience of millions. In fact, it's not uncommon for movie studios to drop ads for upcoming theatrical releases during the Super Bowl.

What makes Netflix's approach different is that they barely gave their audience time to react to the ad before the movie started streaming. By breaking with the tradition of releasing teaser trailers, real-world ads, multiple full-length ads, and other traditional marketing tactics, Netflix broke the mold on traditional movie and TV advertising and gave audiences exactly what they wanted within hours of showing it to them.

Netflix took advantage of the energy, excitement, and captive audience generated by the Super Bowl and channeled as much of that engaged audience as possible into their digital streaming platform as soon as the game was over. 

Your Takeaway

Don't be afraid to surprise your audience. We love the unexpected, especially when it comes to advertising, and breaking with tradition and experimenting on an ongoing basis will not only help you develop a better understanding of what your customers or clients behave, but you'll keep them on their toes which will keep them as engaged with your brand as possible.

Experiment With Audience Conversion Tactics

"You can't advertise during the Super Bowl and expect people to watch your movie right after!"

What do you think the odds are that someone, at some point throughout planning this campaign, said this? Pretty likely, and it's because what Netflix did flew in the face of traditional audience conversion tactics.

Think about it this way: Netflix managed to draw in an audience of viewers tuned into an unrelated live event and converted them to their digital streaming platform immediately after the event ended.

This is a huge risk for advertisers, as we know that it can be hard to replicate marketing ROI success across different audience types (Facebook audiences react to different content than LinkedIn audiences, for example) but Netflix wasn't afraid to experiment with a new approach which encouraged audiences to turn off one streaming service (their digital package or cable provider) and turn to another - their own.

Your Takeaway

If you know you have a captive audience on another platform or digital medium and you need to find ways of converting them, invest in ads specifically for the purpose of funneling them to your site or platform. 

Don't be afraid to encourage cross-platform conversions! Pay attention to when audiences on other platforms are most engaged, or are likely to be online, and direct your advertising dollars into ads that run during those peak times in order to capitalize on the existing, engaged audience like Netflix did.

Don't be Afraid to Experiment. Period.

This isn't the first time that Netflix has shaken up traditional TV and movie advertising tactics. 

Back in 2013, they shocked audiences by dropping all 13 episodes of House of Cards at once, effectively ushering in the age of binge-watching and changing how most people consume media. 

At the time it was considered a groundbreaking move, but several years on the practice has become so commonplace that many of us allocate weekends to "binge" one season of a show or another. This shows us that taking risks and changing up traditional models can not only result in ongoing publicity and media - something every brand wants - but can fundamentally shape how your clients and customers interact with your products or services on an ongoing basis.

Your Takeaway


If there's anything that this article and Netflix's strategies should tell you, it's that being bold and trying new methods of advertising, sharing information, and audience conversions is the way of the future. 

Most brands are finding it harder and harder to stand out online, and the only way to create a viral hit à la Netflix is to step outside of your comfort zone and spend some time experimenting with new and innovative ways of reaching your audience.

With this new Super Bowl ad and immediate release Netflix has once again shown a determination to challenge the assumptions of traditional advertising, and we can't wait to see where they go next.

What's your reaction to Netflix's ad for The Cloverfield Paradox? 

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