First off, let me say that I love the show Arrested Development. Its unfortunate demise under Fox programming was a shame and, since its cancellation in 2006, the show has grown quite a cult following.
The show chronicles the quirky behaviors and struggles of a dysfunctional yet privileged family that falls on hard times when patriarch George Bluth goes to jail for a myriad of white-collar crimes. Big ticket actors like Ron Howard and Will Arnett are among the recurring cast.
Video streaming company Netflix bought the rights to and started filming for Arrested Development in 2012. In my humble opinion, that was the first thing in this campaign that was done right. Netflix chose an extremely popular show with a dedicated fan base and they are sure to add a huge number of new subscribers when they release the new season next week.
But I’m not really here to tell you how great the show or its fans are but, rather, how great Netflix’s marketing has been.
Of course, Netflix hasn’t always been cast in the best light — let’s not forget the Qwikster debacle of 2011. But when it comes to the buzz Netflix generated for the release of Arrested Development‘s fourth season, they did it just right.
Socially Mobilizing the Cast
Remember those big-ticket actors I mentioned before? Well, along with the head writers and producers, these actors helped set their fan base ablaze in 2012 when Netflix were in talks to produce the show.
Ron Howard and his colleagues were instrumental in building suspense by tweeting tease photos of the cast and the writer’s room. Netflix activated Arrested Development social media platforms a few months back to drive interest and really grow its viral marketing, including videos on the site that users can download and edit themselves and then share. Genius.
But wait, there’s more!
Guerilla Marketing Tactics
Netflix has been pushing some guerrilla marketing, too, with frozen banana stands in target cities, including London and New York. Frozen banana stands, you ask? Maybe you haven’t seen the show. The Bluth family, in addition to owning a failing real estate development company, runs a small chain of frozen banana stands called Bluth’s Frozen Banana.
To create buzz the weeks before the show hits the steaming community, Netflix set up frozen banana stands. Lines stretched on and on, full of excited fans, and ignited even further discussion and attention on the series premiere on May 26.
We’re in a world where hundreds of brands are jostling and clamoring for consumer attention. It’s essential that your marketing tactics and messaging rise above the rest, through creativity, honesty and proper targeting. Check out my blog from last week where I examine McDonald’s Canada’s success with transparency.