No one can deny that Netflix's Stranger Things has dramatically changed creative marketing for businesses in many beneficial ways.
It's well known for its nostalgic 1980's roots that brought a surge of viewers from older generations to not only Netflix but any streaming platform for the first time. It also has had the amazing ability to draw interest from later generations who were born in the 90s and decades after who had no connection whatsoever to the time period portrayed in the series.
According to Netflix, millions of people across the generational divide, possibly more than 40 million depending on the measurement used, watched Season 3 within the first four days of its release in October 2019. How did one series manage this feat? Experts praise Netflix’s marketing and promotional efforts, and here's why:
Netflix grabbed viewers without giving away the plot
Modern television and movie viewers are fed up with massive plot reveals in teasers and trailers. In the 1980s, a movie trailer often only gave away enough of the story to hook viewers. As time has passed, companies have increasingly over-revealed storylines.
Netflix used visuals, music, and scenes to evoke nostalgia and create interest without going too far. This type of behavior has created a loyal fan base since Season 1 who return for more and bring new viewers to the series and platform via social media posts and word-of-mouth advertising.
Netflix targeted its audience using numerous strategies
Instead of only producing billboards, posters and trailers for their promotional efforts, Netflix used many different offline and online strategies to attract their target audience. Some companies use only a handful of proven strategies. Netflix flooded the market with a wide variety of engaging content in both obvious and subtle ways. They also partnered with companies beyond in-series product placement to produce content that attracted consumers to both related products and the series.
Netflix made viewers part of a shared world
Netflix made it effortless for national and international fans and others to engage and share experiences with the series cast, locations and even old and new stories through interactive content provided to them at offline venues and via phone numbers, websites, games and virtual reality gear.
For example, fans could watch hidden camera videos of in-world residents and create custom music playlists to match their favorite characters through a streaming music partner's website.
With Stranger Things, Netflix has proven that its marketers have mastered the art of reaching, attracting and engaging a target audience and successfully achieving conversions, loyalty to a brand and lead generation. Digital strategy marketers can learn a lot by studying Netflix's efforts and implementing similar strategies to help promote their own clients.