Netflix’s shows are so influential, even accidental placements are worthwhile
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Netflix’s shows are so influential, even accidental placements are worthwhile

This week, investors learnt something about Netflix: its platform is such a powerful advertising tool, that even accidental product placement in its shows can generate sales for lucky brands. In this case, the brand was Yakult, maker of an eponymous yoghurt drink. A character in the SVOD (streaming video on demand) market leader’s new show “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” drank one, and the brand is reaping rewards. While this might just seem like an interesting fact, the implications for Netflix’s advertising business are huge.

Netflix’s share price has risen by 90% already this year!

graph 0509 netflix

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Netflix doesn’t offer “traditional” advertising spots on its platform, and the plan is to keep it that way. According to the company, this is a key example of how Netflix delivers (and plans to keep delivering) a top quality viewing experience. However, it does allow product placements in its shows and films. Yakult, however, did not purchase such a service.

Instead, viewers of Netflix’s latest romantic comedy hit noticed that the protagonist’s older sister drinking a “Korean yoghurt smoothie” and quickly recognised the distinctive (although, in this case, label-free) packaging as a Yakult bottle. The result? People are suddenly talking about the brand and researchers suspect sales are rising.

Mark Bachman, the head of M Science’s TickerTags (a firm that analyses the relationship between social media and company performance) said that “mention frequency” across platforms spiked. “Given the increasing conversation levels,” he added “we believe Yakult is achieving greater brand awareness, which should likely result in higher sales volume.”

Being able to make that much impact with just a brief glimpse of a brand-redacted product is most advertising platform’s dream come true. And it bodes very well for Netflix should they ever be in need of another large revenue stream.


Dominion holds Netflix in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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