Marketing Featured APAC

Bespoke papercut artwork to be brought on a digital screen in Netflix’s CNY campaign

Singapore – With just a few days before the Lunar New Year celebrations, streaming platform Netflix goes an understated but no less unconventional route of developing a bespoke piece of paper artwork to commemorate the festivity. The artwork, which was done together with global creative company Mash and Malaysian artist Eten Teo, aims to highlight the value of ‘togetherness’.

Framed with the symbolic elements fish, coins, and peonies, which mean abundance, wealth, and prosperity, respectively; the artwork by Teo showcases interactions of the cross-generational family when celebrating the Lunar New Year, a tradition that is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Asian communities.

Rich Akers, Mash Director and Project Lead of Creative Services in Asia, said, “We’re always excited to work with Netflix. Building a virtual creative studio and partnering with an incredible artist, like Eten to deliver on such an ambitious vision, is not a project you get to do every day.” 

In order for the artwork to be an authentic representation of the Asian festivity, Mash curated a Virtual Creative Studio that brought together seven creatives from Mash’s global network. Each one dug deep into their experiences in order to uncover that one key theme that spoke to the true essence of the celebration—the tumultuous and chaotic beauty of cross-generational families over the most important holiday of the Asia calendar. 

The papercut piece is the first physical artwork that is digitised and featured on a local moment on Netflix, a specially-curated collection of titles that celebrates seasonal moments or social events that are important to local audiences.

The artwork will be live on the Netflix screens of viewers across Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan for the duration of the holiday. 

Platforms Featured Global

Netflix to roll out ad-supported plan in November this year

Singapore – Popular streaming platform Netflix is finally rolling out its ad-supported plan on November 3 this year, starting off with a price of US$6.99 a month, three dollars less than the typical US$9.99 a month subscription plan. 

The ad-supported plan will first roll out in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Through the new plan, users will be presented with a much smaller library of movies and series, and will have on average 4-5 minutes of ads per hour, ranging from 15 to 30 seconds each. Users will not be able to download their favourite shows for offline viewing.

In order to roll out their ad-supported plan, Netflix has partnered with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science to verify the viewability and traffic validity of their ads starting in Q1 2023. Ads can be specifically targeted by the geographical location of the viewer and the genre they are watching.

Mark Zagorski, CEO, DoubleVerify, said, “Over the past decade, the team at Netflix has done a tremendous job building one of the most popular streaming services in the world. As we continue to expand our coverage across premium video and CTV environments, DV is thrilled to extend our third-party verification solutions across their platform, ensuring campaigns meet key quality criteria while maximizing performance and outcomes for advertisers”.

Meanwhile, Lisa Utzschneider, CEO at IAS, commented, “We are excited to partner with Netflix as they introduce their much-anticipated ad-supported tier that will dramatically increase the global supply of CTV advertising inventory. IAS provides marketers with the tools necessary to monitor the quality of their media buys as they expand their CTV inventory. We look forward to offering essential coverage to brands and the ability to purchase ads on the Netflix platform with confidence.”

It should be recalled that Netflix tapped Microsoft as its adtech partner following their interest to launch an ad-supported plan.

“While it’s still very early days, we’re pleased with the interest from both consumers and the advertising community — and couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead. As we learn from and improve the experience, we expect to launch in more countries over time,” Netflix said in a statement.

Netflix’s launch of the ad-supported plan comes after six months of their interest to launch said offering. The platform has been losing performance this year, resulting in a massive layoff and slow growth.

Platforms Featured Global

Streaming giants Netflix, Disney+ to now move into ad-supported subscriptions, unveils adtech tie-ups

Singapore – Streaming giants Netflix and Disney+ are going head-to-head with their ad-supported subscriptions this year by announcing its latest adtech tie-ups. Disney+ has tied up with The Trade Desk while Netflix has tied up with Microsoft.

Both streaming platforms previously operate on an ad-free subscription basis, but have shifted to these ad-supported ones following competition and expansion to other regions, including Asia-Pacific. Disney+ had announced its intention to do so by late this year, and Netflix as well after reporting substantial loss in subscriptions in 2021.

In the tie-up between Disney Advertising and The Trade Desk, advertisers can access Disney’s portfolio of premium supply, rooted in secure data collaboration and powered by automation through Disney’s Clean Room technology.

In addition, said agreement will enable a first-of-its kind integration between Disney’s proprietary ‘Audience Graph’ and the open-source identity framework, Unified ID 2.0, within a secure environment. As a result, buyers will be able to discover more addressable, biddable inventory across the Disney portfolio, all validated by Disney’s proprietary Audience Graph.

Rita Ferro, president for advertising sales at Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, said, “Disney Advertising had a bold vision backed by proven results from the start, and we’re thrilled to continue to deliver on our commitment to power greater automation and addressability for our customers through this expanded deal with The Trade Desk.”

She added, “We have spent years investing in our data and technology strategy to create innovative solutions for advertisers to engage their audiences with greater precision and accuracy in a privacy-focused way. This first-to-market capability sets the stage to empower access to the Disney portfolio, validated by powerful audience insights, in a way that’s automated and accessible.”

Meanwhile, Tim Sims, chief revenue officer at The Trade Desk, commented, “With this agreement, Disney and The Trade Desk are pioneering a new approach to audience addressability in a post-cookie environment. By creating interoperability between Unified ID 2.0 and Disney’s Audience Graph, we are unlocking the opportunity for our customers to activate their first-party data at scale programmatically, against some of the world’s most premium content, across all channels. As a result, advertisers will be able to deliver relevant advertising, while ensuring consumers have more control of their own privacy.”

On the other hand, the partnership between Netflix and Microsoft is that it allows marketers to look to Microsoft for their advertising needs and will have access to the Netflix audience and premium connected TV inventory. All ads served on Netflix will be exclusively available through the Microsoft platform.

Greg Peters, COO at Netflix, said, “Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we together build a new ad-supported offering. More importantly, Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side, as well as strong privacy protections for our members.”

He added, “It’s very early days and we have much to work through. But our long-term goal is clear: More choice for consumers and a premium, better-than-linear TV brand experience for advertisers. We’re excited to work with Microsoft as we bring this new service to life.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Netflix PH’s campaign for Money Heist Korea depicts the heist–quite literally

Manila, Philippines – To promote the online series ‘Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Era’, streaming platform Netflix in the Philippines has launched an outdoor campaign that depicts the show’s heist in a literal sense.

Mall-goers at the SM Megamall in the city of Mandaluyong in Metro Manila, as well as in TriNoMa, were surprised to see an outdoor installation where an armoured truck, seemingly stalled due to colliding with a street light post, is brimming with a lot of items and goods, including play money, boxes of Korean goods, among others.

‘Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Era’ is a South Korean television series which is based on the popular Spanish heist crime drama series ‘Money Heist’. The series depicts a hostage crisis situation set in a unified Korean Peninsula.

The campaign is made in collaboration with local creative agency GIGIL, who has long been known for making local campaigns for Netflix, with titles such as ‘All Of Us Are Dead’, ‘Trese’, and ‘Red Notice’.

Photo courtesy of SM Megamalls

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Netflix said in order to select what type of outdoor campaign they will execute, they always consider the uniqueness a series brings to its viewers.

“Things that get noticed get talked about, and things that get talked about are searched for–and in Netflix’s case, watched. This has been the underlying principle behind our campaigns for the brand. Conversation enables conversion,” Netflix said.

For this particular case, Netflix banked on Filipinos’ love for Korean-related products, and spun the campaign based on the series’ premise.

“Money Heist Korea is a spin-off of an already existing franchise (La Casa de Papel), so we did some research on what makes it different from the original. The answer was right under our noses–it’s Korean. While it has a similar plot, there are a lot of Korean nuances that give it its own distinct flavour. We deliberately leaned into its Koreanness, because not only did it make the Joint Economic Area special, it also made it fit well with Filipinos–after all, we are fans of Korea’s products, content, and culture. If it’s Korean, then it’s probably worth giving attention to.”

When asked as to why they think outdoor campaigns still matter, Netflix told MARKETECH APAC that one of the best ways to create a digitally-led campaign is to engage with the audience in real-life, then bring the experience to their devices.

“There’s a different kind of magic when you experience something first-hand, and getting to experience this for yourself (which you once just saw on-screen) compels you to share it, and convince others to experience it for themselves, too,” they concluded.

Marketing Featured Global

Netflix lays off 300 staffers amidst falling revenue growth

United States – Global streaming giant Netflix has announced its second wave of layoffs amidst its weak performance this year. This new wave of layoffs included 300 staffers–the majority of which are from the US and the rest are from other countries.

Netflix had already laid off around 150 employees in May after reporting the platform lost around 200,000 subscribers in its most recent quarter.

“While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we made these adjustments so that our costs are growing in line with our slower revenue growth,” Netflix told Reuters in an exclusive statement.

In another report from Reuters, Netflix said that they are now in talks with several companies for advertising partnerships, including reportedly with Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google; and with Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal for marketing tie-ups.

“We’re not adding ads to Netflix as you know it today. We’re adding an ad tier for folks who say ‘hey, I want a lower price and I’ll watch ads’,” Ted Sarandos, co-CEO at Netflix, said during the recently-concluded Cannes Lions 2022.

Netflix’s move into ad-supported subscription stems from their first quarter 2022 earnings call in April this year, where they reported the company’s slow growth.

“Our revenue growth has slowed considerably as our results and forecast [show]. Streaming is winning over linear, as we predicted, and Netflix titles are very popular globally. However, our relatively high household penetration – when including the large number of households sharing accounts – combined with competition, is creating revenue growth headwinds,” the company said in its letter to shareholders.

During the earnings call, Wilmot Reed Hastings, co-CEO at Netflix revealed that one way to increase the price spread is advertising on low-end plans and to have lower prices with advertising. This is despite his reluctance to deal with advertising complexities.

“I’m a bigger fan of consumer choice. And allowing consumers who would like to have a lower price and are advertising-tolerant get what they want makes a lot of sense. So that’s something we’re looking at now,” Hastings said.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Netflix PH goes all-out ‘survival mode’ in campaign for ‘All Of Us Are Dead’

Manila, Philippines – Following the success of the hit South Korean TV series Squid Game, a new thriller series has been released by popular streaming service Netflix, titled All Of Us Are Dead, in January this year. The series, based on the webtoon Now At Our School, is a coming-of-age thriller series that revolves around the story of high school students who are caught up in a zombie infection in their school, forcing them to improvise school equipment to protect themselves from a hoard of zombies.

With the rising popularity of said series, as well as banking on the previous success of several South Korean TV series on the platform, Netflix Philippines launched its very first local campaign for this year, with the aid of independent creative agency GIGIL.

In an exclusive interview with MARKETECH APAC, Jeano Cruz, creative director and head of social at GIGIL, stated that the underlying thought for this local campaign is through a mix of the series’ survival theme, light moods during the episodes, and the fact that the characters are going through their adolescence. For the agency, this allowed them to implement more comedy and romance themes in between the suspense and thrill of a zombie apocalypse story.

Moreover, Cruz told MARKETECH APAC that part of the creative process for this campaign is to bank on the emotional attachment among Filipino adults: nostalgia during their high school days.

“We believed every Filipino adult could relate to one another because of what they went through in their formative years: from being in a high school barkada (buddy/friend), to studying the same lessons in high school, to experiencing the same student lives everyone else was experiencing across the country,” he stated.

The first blow: ‘Knowledge is weapon’

One of the first brand activations Netflix Philippines did was releasing a 2-minute film, centred around the humour of utilising your school knowledge to survive in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The twist? The film is done in retro 90s fashion, and delivered like old educational shows such as ABS-CBN’s ‘Sineskwela’ that discussed science-related topics catered to kids.

Another interesting facet utilised in the film is the host of said film, a supposed cameo of the late Ka Ernie Baron, a well-beloved Filipino TV presenter, weatherman, and inventor. He is known for his show Knowledge Power, where he discusses educational topics about science, health, history among others.

The film, aptly called Knowledge is Weapon, begs the question of why is it that when we were in high school, we were taught concepts that we never really needed in everyday life. Turns out, it was all in ‘preparation’ for any impending zombie apocalypse.

“In back and forth sequences between All Of Us Are Dead and the program, we’re shown the things we can do to plan an effective survival strategy during this outbreak. Whether that may be using a diorama to plan an exit route, growing a mung bean to have a direct food supply, or using the ‘maglalatik’ dance (a Filipino folk dance) to effectively distract a zombie from using our crush as a meal—the application of our knowledge goes beyond the four walls of a classroom,” Cruz noted.

As part of that film activation, GIGIL’s campaign for Netflix Philippines was also accompanied by TikTok influencers demonstrating how they would apply their own high school learnings in a zombie apocalypse, a ZSAT or the Zombie Survival Assessment Test which tested the population’s survivability by how well they remembered high school lessons in the context of a zombie invasion, and an actual Zombie Survival Kit using only school supplies.

The second blow: Memeifying through billboard activations

Another facet of the All of Us Are Dead local campaign is through billboards promoting the series. The twist? GIGIL transformed the usual billboards that accompany a Netflix Philippines launch into meme billboards that carry with it a ‘core memory’ for every Filipino who went through high school.

Cruz further told MARKETECH APAC that they are always looking for ways to help their clients achieve their objectives. He added that their clients wanted All Of Us Are Dead to penetrate pop culture through executions that connect with audiences and help the title be talked about for days even after the series release on the streaming platform.

“It’s the first time anyone brand’s done this in the country. Our clients at Netflix allowed a language that was born online, memes, to live in the real world through their billboards nationwide. This allowed their All Of Us Are Dead campaign to connect to even more people who see these billboards everyday, and create a virtuous cycle where photos of the billboard are uploaded to social media and then people online talk about them more,” Cruz stated.

He further explains, “By using memes as billboards for the first time, we connected to Filipino audiences nationwide on a new emotional level because we’ve tapped into their ‘core memories’ about their high school lives.”

Speaking about their general work relationship with Netflix, Cruz noted, “We love working with our clients Daphne Ng, Cass Wong, and especially Stef Pajarito, a fellow Filipino at Netflix, who always pushes us to create never-been-done-before marketing campaigns in the Philippines that allow the Netflix brand to connect with Filipino audiences better. They are always bold in their directions and are collaborative with the agency in creating ideas that might otherwise be rejected in other companies. He would always tell us that sometimes our ideas are so stupid that’s why he loves it, and it’s his spirit that has given birth to viral campaigns by GIGIL for Netflix.”

Some of GIGIL’s past work for Netflix Philippines included promotions for series such as Trese, Squid Game, DOTA, To All The Boys I Loved Before, Red Notice, among others.

Marketing Featured South Asia

Netflix India’s campaign for ‘Red Notice’ invited fans to become ‘shoplifters’

Mumbai, India – In the true nature of the action-packed sequences in the latest movie ‘Red Notice’, streaming platform Netflix in India had launched an on-ground campaign that invited shoppers to become ‘shoplifters’ themselves, much like how the movie was all about heists.

The campaign is activated at the Phoenix Palladium mall in Mumbai. The 3000 square feet space is guarded with lasers, sensors, secret codes, CCTV cameras, alarms, and top-notch security. The heist is successfully completed when one is able to steal from the Red Notice Shop. Prizes include not only tech products and ownable shop merchandise but also three precious gold Faberge eggs from the film with exclusive rewards inside them.

The campaign ran from 25 to 28 November. ‘Red Notice’ is a film that stars Hollywood stars Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds. The general premise of the film is that of an FBI agent (played by Johnson) who reluctantly teams up with a renowned art thief (played by Reynolds) in order to catch an even more notorious criminal (played by Gadot).

Speaking about the activation of the campaign, Debashish Ghosh, national creative director at 22feet Tribal Worldwide said, “Most viewers fantasize about being in a role similar to one of their favorite characters or plots in a film. We wanted to give them an unexpected leg-up. So, we set up a shop to pull off a heist where stealers are keepers if you don’t get caught. And if you do, you don’t land up behind bars. Either way, the experience leaves an indelible mark and lodges Netflix and Red Notice in your memory for good.”

To generate buzz about the Red Notice Shop, a promo film was launched that introduced the shop to the fans. The film has been shared by fans including content creators like Abish Mathew, Kumar Varun, Mermaid Scales among others.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Who ‘stole’ SM MOA’s Globe? IKEA PH or Netflix PH?

Manila, Philippines – The Philippines was inundated with reports that the well-famed ‘Globe’ located at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) has been ‘stolen’, to which the management has responded with a statement that it has been ‘working’ with authorities regarding the incident.

Adding to the saga fuel was a video uploaded by netizen Chester Allan Tangonan on Facebook, in which his dashboard attached to his motorcycle captured the ‘moment’ that the Globe had been taken away by a helicopter.

The MOA Globe has been a well-known landmark in Metro Manila that has greeted SM MOA customers since its opening in 2006. In 2009, the ‘Globe’ was equipped with LED lights, and therefore called ‘Globamaze’. The Globe is Asia’s first and only fully global video display installation.

SM MOA Globe
The SM MOA Globe. Photo Courtesy of Charles Gaisano/Flickr

The ‘accidental’ blame on IKEA Philippines

Netizens have speculated at first that the latest ‘stolen MOA Globe’ saga was a marketing stunt by the Philippine arm of multinational furniture giant IKEA. It should be noted that IKEA Philippines, known to be the largest IKEA store globally, is set to open in November 25 this year after delays.

As the ‘stolen MOA Globe’ saga continued, IKEA Philippines recently posted a statement across their social media channels that clarified that their local brand mascot, Tito Ball, was not to be blamed for the incident. They also added that while their mascot was last seen at the vicinity during November 11 this year, they ‘asked’ the public to await ‘investigation’ results.

It was Netflix’s ‘Red Notice’ stunt after all

Hours after the ‘incident’ was made public, Netflix Philippines announced across their social media platforms that the Globe is ‘back’, and it was all part of a marketing ploy to promote the platform’s newest film ‘Red Notice’.

The film follows the story of an FBI agent John Hartley, played by Dwayne Johnson, who reluctantly teams up with an international art thief Nolan Booth (played by Ryan Reynolds) to capture Sarah Black, played by Gal Gadot.

Industry insiders have estimated that the film has made US$1.25m to US$1.5m from 750 theaters in the United States before its streaming debut on 12 November.

So, who stole the ‘stunt’? Netizens react

Netizens were quick to assume in the first few hours of the ‘stolen MOA Globe’ incident that IKEA Philippines was the brand behind the stunt due to the nearing opening date of IKEA’s first-ever store in the country. Furthermore, netizens also joked that the Globe might be stolen, only to be replaced by Tito Ball, which takes the personification of a meatball, a known food staple served across IKEA franchises globally.

After the revelation of the marketing stunt by Netflix Philippines, netizens were disappointed with the execution, with many saying that the stunt lacked a ‘surprise element’, a huge contrast to Netflix Philippines’ widespread stunt for the Filipino occult series ‘Trese’, which ranged from ‘slashed’ billboards to taking over the facade of media conglomerate ABS-CBN.

Netizens were also quick to point out that IKEA Philippines got free publicity out of this ‘saga’, due to the lack of information prior to the true nature of the marketing stunt.

Apart from the brand stunts, the ‘incident’ made it to the top trending topics in Twitter Philippines. According to aggregate results from BrandMentions, the hashtag ‘#MOA_GLOBE’ has been shared 26.5k times, with a total reach of 209.5k across the platform.

Platforms Featured ANZ

Here are the top streaming services in Australia during the pandemic

Sydney, Australia – Despite easing movement restrictions due to COVID-19, streaming content consumption in Australia remains large, with 19.1 million subscriptions recorded at the end of June 2021 across these platforms, which is an increase of 16% from 16.4 million in June 2020. This is according to the latest insights from technology analyst firm Telsyte.

According to their latest insights, Netflix dominates the Australian subscription video on demand (SVOD) services market, with 6 million subscriptions recorded by the end of June 2021. This is then followed by Amazon Prime Video with 2.9 million, Disney+ with 2.6 million, Stan with 2.4 million, and Kayo Sports with 1.1 million.

The remaining 4.1 million are from more than 30 SVOD services such as Binge, Apple TV+, Hayu, Paramount+, Optus Sport, and Britbox.

The survey also notes that 78% of Australian households had at least one entertainment subscription at the end of June 2021, an increase from 65% three years earlier. Subscribing households now have an average of 4.3 entertainment services, which is up from the average of 2.7 in June 2018, largely driven by SVOD subscriptions.

In terms of what type of content Australians want to watch, the sports category has grew 48% year-on-year and the percentage of paid sports subscriptions has also improved significantly, from less than 15% a year ago to over 50% at the end of June 2021.

In addition, around 51% of Australian SVOD customers believe it is important to have content that has Australian stories, voices, culture, and values on SVOD services.

“Australians are clearly attracted to big production movies, TV shows and sporting codes they follow year on year, and are collecting subscriptions on the way,” Foad Fadaghi, managing director at Telsyte, says.

The firm also estimates that total SVOD subscriptions could reach 26 million by June 2025 with higher multiple subscriptions and new services which are boosted by new content licensing deals, and potential bundling, like what is done with Amazon Prime.

“Increasing investment in original content will become more important as part of SVOD providers’ growth and retention strategies. Additionally, Australia has been a popular choice as a source of content and content production,” the firm said in a press statement.

Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

READ: A timeline of Netflix PH’s ramped-up campaign for occult series ‘Trese’

Manila, Philippines – A well-known occult classic in modern Filipino literature, and dark fantasy and crime horror comic series ‘Trese’ received more hype when streaming platform Netflix announced it as part of a new original series stemming from Asia on 8 November, 2018. Originally penned by Budjette Tan and illustrated by Kajo Baldisimo, the series debuted last 11 June, with six episodes officially released on the streaming platform.

The anime-influenced TV series follows the story of Alexandra Trese, a healer-warrior who plays the role of a mitigator between the real world and the supernatural one. She is often summoned by the police to solve paranormal cases within Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Throughout the series, Trese faces various entities and challenges within the paranormal world, all of which are based on Philippine paranormal folklore.

On the days leading to the debut, the Philippine arm of Netflix worked constantly on a slew of campaigns to promote the series, all embodying the paranormal theme that awaits for newly-found fans and viewers to enjoy.

‘Vandalized’ by the supernatural?

On 6 June, Netflix Philippines posted several photos on their social media pages, begging the question ‘What kind of monster would do this?’, to which the pictures depicted the promotional banners and billboards for ‘Trese’ to be seemingly destroyed and vandalized with phrases such as “Siyudad namin ito! Layas!” (This is our city! Get out!). Even the digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH) for ‘Trese’ also ‘glitched’, bearing the aforementioned phrases. 

Soon, netizens took notice of the pictures, and noted various instances across the country, from Metro Manila, Batangas, Cebu, and Davao.

Said ‘vandalism’ act is one of the marketing ploys created by local-based independent creative agency GIGIL, who played upon the story’s lore of monsters who are constantly taking over key cities in the fictional background of the storyline.

“Our billboards all over the country started getting vandalized, apparently protesting Trese’s arrival. Social media, and the actual media, went into a frenzy. We turned Trese into a huge national moment, and ultimately giving this for Pinoy – by Pinoy – about Pinoy title the recognition it deserves, all in time for Independence Day weekend,” said Stef Pajarito, country marketing manager at Netflix Philippines, on his LinkedIn post.

The following day, 7 June, Netflix Philippines ‘unveiled’ the culprits of the ‘vandalism’ by sharing videos which are purportedly ‘shared’ by organic social media accounts. The videos ranged from a ‘tiyanak’ (a Filipino mythological vampire creature that takes the form of a child or toddler) or a ‘manananggal’ (a Filipino vampirical creature taking the form of a winged creature, in which the upper torso is only present). Turns out, said ‘videos’ were also produced by GIGIL for Netflix Philippines.

A ‘not-so-live’ concert experience

The primary soundtrack of ‘Trese’ titled ‘Paagi’ was composed by well-known Filipino indie pop band Up Dharma Down or more known as UDD, and popular for tracks such as ‘Tadhana’, ‘Oo’, and ‘Hiwaga’. And in tribute to the upcoming debut of the first episode of ‘Trese’, Netflix Philippines and GIGIL collaborated in launching a virtual concert experience, which was streamed exactly thirteen minutes before the debut.

Due to the existing protocols in the country regarding large-scale gatherings, the virtual concert campaign was launched with the premise that audience members upload their videos on the website The twist on this campaign is that the submitted videos are recorded using the Instagram filter provided by the QR code on site, which transforms the videos into ‘ghost-like’ edits, an allude to the paranormal nature of the ‘Trese’ series.

The ABS-CBN, BusinessWorld, and The Philippine Star campaign tribute

One of the well-known fictional organizations in the ‘Trese’ franchise is the media network ABC-ZNN, which is a play on the real counterpart, Philippine media conglomerate ABS-CBN.

On 11 June, Netflix Philippines launched another marketing stunt campaign that seemingly plays on the incident that ‘Trese has taken over ABS-CBN’. In the pictures, the facade of the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center was draped with the logo of the ABC-ZNN, covering the metallic logo of ABS-CBN which is prominent in the building.

The same was also done with the facade of ABS-CBN’s ELJ Communications Center in Quezon City, which also shone the words ‘TRESE’ spelled by the window lights, as another tribute for the debut episode of ‘Trese’.

Other media outlets also showed their support for ‘Trese’, with broadsheet dailies BusinessWorld and Philippine Star publishing a front-page report narrating an incident of a ‘dead white lady’ or a well-known paranormal entity in Philippine horror who are commonly wandering souls, on Balete Drive, a well-known street in the Philippines to which the tale of the ‘white lady’ is more popular. Said fictional newspaper story alludes to the first episode of ‘Trese’ where one of the main characters, a policeman by the name of Captain Guerrero, discovers the incident, and the first scene where Trese is first introduced to crack on the case.

‘The biggest campaign we’ve ever done’

Speaking about the execution of the project, GIGIL Senior Art Director, JR Bumanglag, stated that they knew from the very end of their briefing with the client that they wanted ‘something to pop out’, yet the challenge remains: how do you bring an animated series to ‘life’?

“We realized that, as ‘Trese’ is coming, everyone is excited. It’s a [series] that every Filipino can be proud of, there are places on the show that people [will recognize]. But as everyone was excited, Trese’s enemies on the show weren’t. So how do we give them that voice and how do we [make people feel like] the monsters were real? So we used the billboards as the venue to express that idea,” Bumanglag stated.

Meanwhile, Nova Novido, account manager at GIGIL, expressed the large scale of the project, noting it is the agency’s biggest project to date.

“I’m pretty sure that our team is very ‘gigil’ and we wouldn’t stop here. But there will be future campaigns that will hopefully be as grand or even grander as Trese. But at the moment [the Trese campaign] is one of the biggest things we’ve done [so far] and we’re really proud of it. The attention that this has caught in public, [and I’m proud] that our team was able to produce it for such a well-loved comic series and Netflix,” Novido stated.

In its first week, Trese made it to Top 1 position in Netflix Philippines, and Top 10 in 19 other countries on Netflix. The show practically took over Philippine social media, as it has been trending online and receiving overwhelming praises from fans. On Twitter alone, it was the Top Trending Topic for a week.