Netflix to take up brand content

You may have heard of Netflix. The company started out as a DVD-by-mail service before expanding to on-demand Internet streaming of programming seven years ago, allowing customers to watch shows like the acclaimed “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” on their PCs, tablets and smartphones.

More than 35 million customers in the U.S. subscribe to Netflix’s streaming content service, with much of the growth of its subscriber base coming through word of mouth from satisfied customers.

But Netflix is about to ratchet up its marketing efforts with plans to rely on brand content centered around its original programming.

Executives addressed the strategy this week during the company’s quarterly earnings call. In its letter to shareholders Netflix says:

“Original series represent a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of, and build consumer enthusiasm for the Netflix brand. We’ll be investing more in marketing high-quality exclusive content, and spending less on direct response advertising such as banner ads touting free trials.”

Netflix is airing ad segments that try the “tell, don’t sell” approach to enhancing and promoting its brand to customers in an emotive, personal manner, including this recent one:

The move to brand marketing has advantages for Netflix, which has emerged as a major player in online streaming programming. But the company must engage its loyal customer base more effectively, Andrew Solmssen of Possible Los Angeles tells

“I think brand advertising is important, but not as important as trying to activate their existing user base to be brand advocates. And they haven’t been able to do that particularly well. They have a really strong community, but they have not historically given people avenues to tell friends about Netflix. They don’t use social media marketing particularly well. When you have a great brand, that’s a lost opportunity.”

Stay tuned.


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