According to statistics, Thailand has become one of the countries that are most digitally active, ranking in the world’s top 10 for social media usage, while the e-commerce market is tremendously booming. For an online streaming platform like Netflix which launched itself in Thailand in 2017, the expansion here was expected to be a smooth ride since the beginning. But it wasn’t that easy. How to introduce a new service to a society so obsessed with cheesy soap operas provided by existing online platforms (like LineTV)?
Interestingly, they decided to go the opposite way. They went offline.
The Art of Offline Marketing
In the US, Netflix was the pioneer (as an online service) to take billboard advertising seriously (they just took over a billboard company to make things easier), so their billboards that popped around Bangkok wasn’t that surprising. What’s surprising were other offline campaigns to promote their new films and series. Last year, they rented several vacant rooftop buildings next to sky train stations and installed haunted hologram projections to promote The Haunting of Hill House. Then, they bought the front page cover of local newspapers like Daily News and Bangkok Post along with sponsored posts in social media to introduce the series Black Mirror. Of course, the news of Princess Susanna’s abduction became the talk of the town. And of course, both campaigns went viral.
Narcos: The Censor’s Cut
The latest example, which just won the Silver Lion award in Cannes Lions award for Outdoor Lion this year, is the campaign to promote Narcos, a series about the famous Mexican drug war. As a parody of Thailand’s heavy censorship, they decided to censored the contents by themselves first.
Seriously, their strategies should be in marketing textbooks. Now I wonder what would they come up next for Stranger Things 3.