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by OppGen

The Wall Street Journal reports that Netflix spent over $100 million in a marketing award campaign for some of its original movies. The same article finds that most of those funds went to campaigning for The Irishman and Marriage Story, both of which were Oscar contenders. 

Netflix’s head of original films, however, denies that the streaming service spent that much money on award marketing campaigns.


Is That a Lot of Money to Spend on an Award Marketing Campaign?

As The Wall Street Journal notes, traditional Oscar campaigns usually cost about $20 million for a single film. Given that Netflix’s films received 24 Oscar nominations this year for eight films (The Irishman, Marriage Story, The Two Popes, Klaus, I Lost My Body, American Factory, Life Overtakes Me, and The Edge of Democracy), the estimated $100 million does even things out. If the funds were distributed evenly, that would be about $12.5 million per film, which falls a little short of that typical $20 million.


What Did Netflix’s Award Marketing Campaign Entail?

According to The New York Times, Netflix took some non-conventional marketing routes, like sending film-related merchandise to reporters and film critics.

Netflix even went as far as to send members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association on free trips to meet actors and actresses and other people in the film industry at expensive locations and hotels — a move that upset traditional studios.

The streaming company also created a magazine, Queue, which included photos, articles, essays, and podcasts, to bolster the reputations of its nominated films.


Was Netflix’s Award Marketing Campaign a Success?

If Netflix’s goal was to receive more Oscar nominations than any other Hollywood studio this year (they did) and an impressive 34 Golden Globe nominations, then that could be considered a successful marketing campaign.

However, winning the nominated categories is the end goal, and Netflix fell short there. At the Golden Globes, Netflix walked away with two wins: Laura Dern for best supporting actress in Marriage Story and Olivia Coleman for best actress in The Crown. That would mean it cost Netflix roughly $50 million per win, assuming the reported campaign investment is correct. 

Out of its 24 Oscar nominations, Netflix also won two awards: Laura Dern for best supporting actress in Marriage Story and American Factory for best documentary.

All in all, Netflix’s awards marketing campaign was a mixed success.


Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube © Netflix

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Was Netflix’s Award Marketing Campaign a Success?