Letting Comicon attendees live the stories of some of Netflix’s most iconic shows
Netflix launched their service in the Philippines in 2016 when the company announced plans to expand globally. By 2017, brand awareness in Philippines was at 86%, nearing saturation. However, there was a need for Netflix to translate brand awareness into brand love and action as issues such as poor network infrastructure, piracy and competition from similar entertainment services dishing out local content were impeding the brand’s growth.
There was also a lack of awareness of the breadth of Netflix’s offering. Consumers gravitate towards shows/genres they are passionate about. Without those shows or when the season ends, there’s little motivation to subscribe or maintain a subscription to Netflix. Netflix needed to demonstrate that it has “something for everyone” and that it truly “gets” Filipinos. They needed to open minds to new genres and get consumers excited to “see what’s next” with Netflix.
The Philippines has a long history of comic book fandom, encompassing both American as well as local “komiks.” Comic book conventions have been popular for some time, but 2015 marked the first international “comic fan mecca”—AsiaPOP Comicon—bringing together Hollywood entertainment stakeholders (HBO, Disney, Marvel) with local industry celebrities and influencers. AsiaPOP Comicon symbolizes not only a celebration of comic book fandom, but also critical recognition and appreciation of the Philippines and its trends. It is a great opportunity to reach die-hard entertainment fans and entrench Netflix in local popular culture; ultimately to grow Netflix’s base in the market. Netflix had the opportunity to ‘own’ the event given the caliber of A-list talent they could bring, the reach from their regional press and social influencers, as well as the premium space take-over that will cumulatively boost Comicon into the realms of its international counterparts. The ambition was therefore to dominate the event and become synonymous with AsiaPOP Comicon and its future events. Netflix identified these three objectives that needed to be met for a successful event activation:
1) Dominate AsiaPOP Comicon and build local brand love
The ambition was to be the entertainment brand to elevate AsiaPop and take-over the event with a first-class Netflix experience.
2) Drive Conversion for Tentpole Titles
Netflix’s content is a core differentiator for its service. Our task was to raise the profile of its tentpole titles (The Defenders, Stranger Things, and Death Note), creating demand and softening the audience to deliver more effective conversion for future media campaigns.
3) Social Buzz and Talkability
We needed to engage and excite the tens of thousands of active fans to evangelize the brand, with a knock-on effect beyond the attendee numbers, dominating online conversations on entertainment and cement Netflix’s place in local popular culture
Comicon is a celebration of great imagination and going to Comicon is the ultimate form of escapism. Attendees are eager to immerse themselves in their favorite comics and entertainment programs with other like-minded individuals without the stigma of being judged. It is an opportunity to escape from the mundane everyday life, to dress up and pretend for a short while that they are a super hero (or super villain). Therefore, to engage this audience, our experience needed to transport them from being in a sterile convention hall at a comic convention into being in the heart of their favorite shows, giving them the opportunity to become the characters they admire and explore the “world” in which they exist.
An immersive portal to the imagination, where fans step into their favorite Netflix shows to ‘live’ the stories they love while connecting seamlessly to new content.
We built an interconnected labyrinth of Netflix’s tentpole properties, where each turn opened into new worlds and environments, allowing fans to fall seamlessly from one show into the next. Shareable moments and surprises lay behind every twist and turn, enthusing fans to “See What’s Next”.
To ensure every fan had time and space to immerse themselves in these worlds we created a controlled entry point through a hidden doorway, minimizing the usual Comicon stampede and allowing the Pinoy fans to craft quality moments to share.
The fan experience began at the Netflix Square – a grand red-carpet area with two massive LED screens showcasing exclusive trailers of upcoming Netflix titles and a running update of social shares from fans. Stepping through the iconic Netflix “N”, fans were transported into Defender’s Street, a 30-metre long New York street set complete with neon lit shopfronts from 5 different Netflix shows (Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Daredevil and of course the Defenders). This served as a key ‘avenue’ into the immersive worlds of Netflix’s most popular titles.
Fans could then step into Byers’ living room from Stranger Things and relive the iconic fairy lights scene or pick up the phone to listen to Will’s pleas for help. Fans also got to crawl into the Upside Down to face off the Demogorgon. They then climbed through the back of the Hawkins Power and Light van (Stranger Things) only to emerge from the Litchfield Penitentiary prisoner transport van (Orange is the New Black).
At Litchfield Penitentiary, they transformed into their favorite characters, with eyeliner tutorials, DIY duct-tape slippers and their very own mugshots. Fans could also step into the iconic Pop’s Diner (Riverdale) to enjoy a milkshake and test their fan knowledge on the trivia Jukebox. Using Immersive 3D VR, we brought fans of the popular Death Note series face to face with the Death God Ryuk.
Each installation flowed from one to the other, showcasing the best of each series and demonstrated how Netflix connects fans from one great show to the next.
Throughout the experience, teaser content played out on screens hidden within the environments, as diner windows, shop fronts and billboards, even inside an 80’s style CRT TV in the nostalgic world of Stranger Things.
We ensured no fan left empty handed as brand ambassadors handed out continuously changing swag and merchandise from tentpole titles.
The Netflix exhibit proved to be the hit of the event. The buzz surrounding AsiaPOP Comicon was centered on Netflix and their immersive activities. Chatter, online and off, about Netflix reached unseen levels for the event. Here is a snapshot of some of the key metrics:
- 12,000 people walked through the Netflix experience.
- 39,389,400 people reached across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Brand mentions increased 29% during the event weekend
- On-ground posts from influencers achieved over 454,949 engagements, generating close to 902,500 video views.
- Netflix press coverage increased by more than 100% around Netflix in Philippines over the event weekend.