How we consume our media is changing and this has far-reaching consequences for our viewing habits. Figures released by Ofcom in 2014 found that 44% of the UK population watches some form of online on-demand service on their tablets. Clearly, we are a nation with a growing propensity for non-traditional TV viewing.
At one level this is a shame, as I still enjoy the experience of watching one communal screen jointly as a family or with my mates when the rugby is on – something that this kind of private tablet viewing precludes.
I have to admit that I have yet to be swayed to the joys of Netflix. This doesn’t mean that I don’t binge-watch my favourite series. Indeed, one of life’s great pleasures is sitting down with the family to gorge ourselves on True Detective. However, I do this through Sky On Demand which is all part of the service that I pay for. So why would I switch to Netflix when I have everything I need to watch already?
Therefore, it was with a sense of mild disinterest that I approached the new ad from Netflix. I was just expecting more of the same “insert Ricky Gervais into famous programme” stuff. However, what I saw was pleasantly surprising.
Instead of seeing more of Gervais’ smug face gurning out at me, I was witness to a kind of mini-saga. The new ad works off the premise that films can not only transport the viewer, but also bring people together. This may sound a little overly sentimental but the ad actually has a kind of epic feel without feeling epic in scale.
It’s beautifully put together while keeping being fairly irreverent and retaining its sense of wit. By teasing the immersive experience that good TV can provide, the ad has the scope to go from the subtle to the fantastic in one charming swoop.
Viewing this ad has even almost tempted me to embark on a new televisual journey with Netflix. “Almost” being the operative word, as the truth is old habits die hard, so why would people change to a new service?
While I really did like the ad, I do wonder if it will tempt more people to sign-up to Netflix’s service. Furthermore, I think it will be tricky for the brand to gain traction in a space where Sky is already a big player and provides such a good service. Couple this with general viewer inertia meaning that you would simply stay with Sky, and I think it will take more than a flashy ad to get viewers hooked on Netflix.
Mike Cavers is executive creative director at DST Global Insight Group (The GIG at DST)
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