Creative data: how Netflix got to France

You're at the bus stop at 6 pm, it's cold and it's raining. You turn around and you see an advertising of a full color animated GIF featuring one of your favorite Spartans movies - let's suppose is 300- and the ad suggests you: "In the rain waiting for your bus? Get home and cozy up with Netflix "

Science fiction? No, it is the campaign designed by Ogilvy Paris to introduce Netflix to the French market. We're talking about the first campaign made 100% from contextual data from the moment of its strategic planning to its creative execution.

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The creation of data: how to turn insights into opportunities

For the brand the only way to succeed in France was to become fully relevant, that's why they conducted a research that involved analyzing two years of digital conversations, so later they could put the data into a "topics model" that allowed them to convert everyday conversations into insights that would reflect an actual opportunity for the brand.

french needs

A topics model is a type of statistical model designed to identify abstract "themes" that occur in a collection of documents. Intuitively, one would expect that certain words appear more or less frequently than others in a text: "dog" and "bone" appear more frequently in documents about dogs, "cat" and "meow" would appear in the documents about cats, and logically "the" or “and” would appear equally in both.

French data was processed and divided into different topics or meanings, through an algorithm trained to understand it and hence three essential insights emerged:

  • "The French love culture but are among the European countries with more pirate content"
  • "The French love innovation but are skeptical about the new"
  • "The French love revolution but are conservative"


The creative data: how to convert an episode of The Walking Dead in contextual advertising

Netflix had to overcome conventions without requesting a change of behavior. So they created a platform "inspired by you", using data that affects the daily lives of the French, such as the weather report or holidays, and what was happening at the time in their favorites TV shows (without spoilers).

It was both a brand and content campaign, 100% contextual with over 8000 external displays presenting Netflix famous characters as animated GIFs, connecting different situations with a good reason to watch Netflix.

Sales time at the mall? If you see an animated GIF of The Walking Dead while you're shopping it will not be a coincidence.


Thus, the comments and followers on social media boomed and jumped from offline to online. The result: the brand awareness exploded in just three months, the campaign was replicated in other countries and Ogilvy Paris won a Cannes Lions award in the category of Innovation & Creative Data.

All thanks to the data. Say my name, "Netflix".


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