General Motors and Netflix have entered into an open-ended deal with the goal of encouraging broader knowledge and acceptance of electric vehicles.
The two companies are coming together on a Super Bowl spot featuring several vehicles and several shows.
Will Ferrell, who appeared in GM’s “No Way, Norway” Super Bowl spot two years ago, will return and be shown in quick-moving vignettes tied together for one 60-second spot, "EVs On Screen.” It will run in the second quarter of the game as the last ad of the first commercial break.
GM worked with creative agencies The Community and McCann Detroit along with Netflix to produce the spot, which features Ferrell showing up in plots including "Squid Game," "Stranger Things" and "Queer Eye.”
Two teaser spots featuring Ferrell in "Army of the Dead" and "Squid Game" break today. Both end with the tagline “Let’s Give EVs the Stage They Deserve.”
After the Super Bowl, Netlix is committing to including at least one EV in every Netflix-produced film and series while also taking steps to enable more sustainable productions.
Over the course of the next year, GM EVs (Chevrolet Bolt, GMC Hummer EV pickup and Cadillac Lyriq) will appear on Netflix shows ("Love is Blind," "Queer Eye" and "Unstable").
GM will supply Netflix with vehicles for this purpose, but some show creators could choose to instead feature another automaker’s EV, says Netflix CMO Marian Lee.
“This is really part of our broader efforts in the sustainability space,” Lee said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “We're decarbonizing Netflix online with climate science and getting to net zero starting this year and every year thereafter.”
CMOs from both companies emphasized that the relationship is “organic and very authentic” and not simply a product placement. Show creators will determine how the EVs will be featured, including showing the hiccups of EV ownership, like not plugging in the vehicle correctly overnight and being faced with a low amount of range, Lee says.
The partnership, which was one year in the making, will help the automaker place EVs at the “center of culture,” says GM CMO Deborah Wahl.
“It's really important for us because it allows us to reach diverse audiences and highlight our great products,” Wahl says “There's something for everyone, that everyone can relate to.”
The partnership represents the way GM is "looking at doing our marketing moving forward,” she says. “The more that we see EVs show up in this type of binge-worthy content, the faster everyone gets used to the change.”
Wahl says she and Lee talked about how to “rewrite the marketing playbook” with the agreement.
“It's really important for both of our businesses,” Wahl says. “But it only works when it's good for both partners and we both get a message across that's impactful. This is part of a bigger cultural transformation for all of us and how we drive, how we think about mobility.”
Lee calls the deal a “no brainer.”
“We want to give electric vehicles a stage they deserve,” she says. “With this partnership, we’re showcasing how through entertainment we can actually reflect the change that we see happening in culture.”