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Netflix wants to make you care about ads by turning them into episodes

The Netflix logo on artistic background

Netflix is looking to run episodic ad campaigns to boost viewer engagement, according to advertising executives speaking to the Financial Times. As Netflix has the ability to track what you’ve watched, advertisers could make a 15-episode ad campaign where a new episode is played the further you advance through a TV series you’re watching.

By keeping adverts different, episodic ads could help to capture the viewer’s attention better than an ad they’ve already seen ten times before.

The ad format could work especially well in the case of brands viewers actually care about - perhaps something on the level of Apple’s Get a Mac ad campaign. Rather than being something to avoid, viewers may start looking for the next episode of an ad.

Speaking to the Financial Times, an unnamed advertising boss said:

“They’ll know what you’ve seen. So the old days of making episodic work may be back because before you could never guarantee what people have seen already. Now you can write 15 episodes of an advert and guarantee that the viewer will see them in the right order. So that’s really interesting.”

Another ad boss told the FT that Netflix was now making more money per user with its advertising tier than the standard tier. Due to the positive reputation of Netflix shows, he said that advertisers are keen to advertise their brands on the platform. He did admit, though, that the audience for Netflix ads was still small.

Netflix first launched its lower-cost ad tier in November in just a handful of markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the US. By mid-May, the tier had already got five million monthly active users.

During the first month of availability, several ad agency executives complained that Netflix had underperformed expectations but judging by the more recent comments, ad agencies seem to be coming around.

Source: Financial Times

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