Big-time branded TV entertainment marketing partnerships are not new. But you might think this probably is for the likes of Netflix, a subscription video-on-demand service that presently has nothing to do with any advertising-brand support.
You would be right... and wrong.
Netflix does not offer up commercials before, during or after its TV or movie content.
At the same time, some major marketers can still ride on the coattails of big Netflix shows like "Stranger Things."
That show has seen strong, visible support from on-air TV advertising coming from Domino's as well as other branded entertainment connections with Timex watches and Jansport backpacks. Three years ago, when the show's third season launched, it did other branded product tie-ins as well.
To be sure, branded entertainment is not new. But much of this is typically connected to linear TV advertising-supported networks, not subscription or premium TV networks like HBO and Showtime.
The difference here is that “Strangers Things” is a big deal -- racking up more than 12 million average minute viewers, according to Nielsen, for Episode One of its fourth season over its initial three-day period. Nielsen also says that four seasons worth of the show have resulted in five billion viewing minutes.
Going forward, however, sponsorship deals of this kind might be few and far between -- especially for major brands' broad-scale seeking of advertisers. Jason Harris, chief executive officer of creative agency Mekanism, told Fast Company: “There aren't that many shows on Netflix that are massive enough that brands would want to be associated with them.”
Netflix's effort with Domino's is not like what marketers might do with a typical theatrical film's brand-entertainment deal -- to get people in theaters over the short term, say, over a period of three weeks.
Netflix seeks more permanent, long-term core-customers and audiences to sign on, hoping they will also sample other things.
But unlike broadcast and cable TV networks -- where one TV show can define and give heft to a network’s overall fortunes -- the likes of Netflix would have a different measure -- especially with scores of new and recent TV series (and movies) regularly coming to the platform.
Now with the ad-supported option to come, will we see Domino's buying advertising time in future “Stranger Things” episodes?
When it comes to marketers' advertising deals and promotions for new shows -- and broader tie-ins to the upcoming advertising-supported option -- what will Netflix marketing sponsors want from the big subscription video-on-demand service going forward?
Perhaps to act more like a more familiar looking ad-supported TV network -- or something else?
More or less stranger things?