by Kitt Rosenfield
We arrived at Netflix’s Los Gatos campus, a series of beautiful Spanish-style buildings topped with red clay tiles that blend into the picturesque California backdrop, early in the afternoon on Monday. This was to be our final site visit, capping off a whirlwind tour of some of the country’s most innovative companies that call Silicon Valley home.
We entered the lobby and were invited to help ourselves to some fresh movie theater popcorn while we browsed books detailing the greatest movies of the past century and admired posters of the company’s greatest successes: Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and the latest season of Arrested Development, to name a few.
We were greeted by Netflix’s Brand Manager, Duke’s very own Blair Josephs. Ms. Josephs, who develops the company’s marketing strategies for both the Netflix brand and individual content, was joined by North American Director of Marketing Megan Imbres. Ms. Josephs and Ms. Imbres explained the transformation of Netflix’s marketing strategies from basic “Buy Now!” ads that built subscriber base to more lifestyle-focused ads. They also introduced us to some of Netflix’s most successful campaigns, including a series of TV ads produced for the Canadian market that were later brought to American television (see below for Netflix “Pep Talk” commercial) in addition to a series of minimal movie poster print ads that ran in Canadian publications.
Ms. Josephs was then joined by Cynthia Chang, a member of the company’s marketing team, who answered questions about how Netflix comes up with their ad campaigns and how those campaigns come to fruition. We were able to really get a sense of how Netflix and companies in general market and advertise themselves and how those decisions significantly affect a company’s success.
At the crossroads of entertainment and technology, Netflix has transformed the aging entertainment industry. It was incredibly interesting to see the passion and innovation that goes on behind the scenes at such a company, and it will be just as interesting to see where that passion and innovation leads the company in the future. Now when does season 3 of House of Cards premiere?