Netflix: Branding like a chameleon.



Have you ever wondered about the rise of the brand Netflix?

What started as a DVD-delivering service has grown into streaming and creating their own productions such as the hit, “The Crown”.  Netflix‘s humble beginnings started as a simple DVD service whereby a customer could order a DVD online and have it delivered to their house.  It was cheaper and there was no need to walk or drive to the nearest video store. A convenience for the consumer and a success for Netflix. But what has given them their substantial rise was video streaming.  By providing an ever growing selection of titles to be viewed via the internet with a monthly fee, Netflix was able to effectively expand their brand by offering flexibility (watch it anytime and anywhere) and convenience to viewers, all without commercials.

The key to their success was following trends and monitoring what people wanted and what technology could dictate at that moment – good social media marketing.  Netflix has carefully managed what it takes to build a successful online brand by doing the following:

  1. They have mapped out their journey and have taken steps to overcome obstacles by using analytics to understand what their consumers want. Trends are made visible with the data collected.
  2. They promote communication with their consumers. Personal ratings of shows given by consumers is made easy and is valued. Content is highlighted to a consumer within Netflix that is based on their past viewing habits (ie. since you watched this…you may like this).
  3. They know their competitors (i.e. network TV) and are able to keep one step ahead of them. The cost of the monthly fee for Netflix is much cheaper than cable and they produce original content which is largely influenced based on the data they obtain through their analytics.
  4. They know what they are selling – ‘Movie enjoyment made easy‘. They are selling simple, convenient entertainment, period.

Personally, I love Netflix.  The ability to watch a movie, an old television series or an original production all without commercials is well, superb.  Sure I can PVR a show on TV but then I have to skip through the commercials which is a task that takes the fun out of just sitting there and viewing something.  With the automatic loading of the next show on Netflix – no need to use the remote – I can spend an evening sitting on the couch watching a series without moving a finger – pure decadence.



facebook Has Netflix revolutionized the way we watch entertainment.  What are your thoughts?

twitter-logo Is the success of Netflix the death of cable TV?





Memes: A social media gene gone wild

I was eavesdropping on my teenage kids the other day and they were talking about a meme they saw on Instagram. I thought to myself, what exactly is a meme and how does it relate to social media.  So I opened up Wikipedia and researched meme and there before me was this extensive description of this word – wow!  According to Wikipedia a meme is “an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. The site also mentioned that they closely resemble genes in the way that they self-replicate and mutate. I wonder what Darwin would think.

Richard Dawkins coined the term in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins stated that if you want to understand life “don’t think about vibrant, throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology”. So here we have it – the power of ideas spreading at an alarming rate through social media.

So what exactly is a meme in the world of social media.  Well, it generally is an image, text or video that is humorous in nature.  It is any digital content that is passed from one to another via the internet.  It can be altered slightly when passed along very much like the game ‘broken telephone’.  A good example of this is ‘Be Like Bill‘ which is a meme which can altered by each person to convey a message regarding life choices. Although usually humorous it at times can be passive-aggressive in nature as its intent is to make fun of people.


Memes have certainly taken the world of social media by storm.  Everybody remembers ‘Gangnam Style‘ by South Korean rapper Psy that went viral in 2012.  It was a ‘music’ video that poked fun at the people who live in the Gangnam District of Seoul, Korea. When I watched it (again) on February 10 it has had 2,759,093,891 views.  What a marketer’s dream.


The main reason why memes are so popular is that they are easy to create and you can use them to convey a message that is simple and yet effective.  In the social media world you only have a few seconds to grab one’s attention and a meme does it so well.  People generally find them funny and will want to share them – great.  But what happens if they go too far and end up offending someone? Well, now there are memes that poke fun at the issue of being offended.


So…what is your viewpoint of memes? If you like memes click here to read about a University offering a major in Meme Studies.



facebook  Memes: a social media phenomena that has gone wild. Are they here to stay?


twitterbird_rgb  #Memes: a #social media #gene gone wild?




Links: memes

‘Say Cheese’: How Social Media has changed photography



Growing up, photos were generally taken at certain milestones and celebrations such as birthdays, graduations, weddings, holiday get-together, vacations, etc. – you get the idea.  Your camera needed film to capture a moment and you made sure everything was in its place before you took the shot.  You had no idea how the picture would turn out – was everyone looking at the camera, did Aunt Carole blink or I hope no one has those dreaded red eyes.  Once the film was used up, it was then taken to the developer and you waited in suspense to see the results. Duplicates were made and then shared with friends and family.  Photo were placed in books to be enjoyed as keepsakes.

With the onslaught of digital cameras and most importantly phones, coupled with social media, the art of photo-taking and sharing has changed dramatically.  The fact is that people have a camera via their phones with them every breathing moment.  Taking a ‘great’ photo has never been easier.  You can take numerous shots until you have the one you desire.   It is fast, cheap, and now easier to share.  People can snap their meal, the humorous billboard they just saw or the great sunset and share them with their social media friends via Facebook or Instagram. Everyone is a potential celebrity. Don’t get me started on selfies.

Nowadays, it seems that social media is now shaping how advertisers want to be seen.  Advertisers are changing their traditional format to one that closely resembles images that one  sees on Facebook or Instagram.  Getty Images sees a trend whereby content developers want to mimic the images that individuals are creating – spontaneous, unpolished and authentic. According to Getty Images, the filters that people used to enhance images in the past are giving way to a more raw image, “It’s no longer enough to look at the picture, we want to be in the picture.”


So here is my thought.  Ever since the camera was invented, people have been fascinated with the image produced.  The ability to capture a moment in time is well…timeless. But, has social media made us less focussed on the staging of photos and more obsessed with the sharing of the random things we capture every day?


facebook ‘Say cheese’: How social media has changed photography

twitterbird_rgb ‘Say cheese’: How #socialmedia has changed #photography (




COM0011 Love Your Body: Media Sabotage?


Love Your Body

I am sure that everyone has seen the social media campaign Love Your Body, created in 1998, which encourages women to love the body they have. In the past decade or so there has been a huge change in the perception of women bodies. While one could argue that women are being told by the media that the only way to be beautiful is to fit the social construction reality of the ‘perfect’ body. This body is of a women who is young, skinny and with flawless skin and hair. Love Your Body has challenged the media’s ideal of what the perfect body image is and the standards of what is beautiful. Women are so bombarded by this false perception of beauty through the media that it has become very difficult to ignore. However, there are a few companies that have jumped aboard this trend of smashing this ideal.

According to Love Your Body campaign, “every day, in so many ways, the beauty industry (and the media in general) tell women and girls that being admired, envied and desired based on their looks is a primary function of true womanhood. The beauty template women are expected to follow is extremely narrow, unrealistic and frequently hazardous to their health.”


So what can be done?

The Love Your Body campaign is using social media as a vehicle to spearhead their campaign to expose this unrealistic perception of women in the media. They are effectively using social media to undermine the media. But what value is there when the media uses this new social media attitude in their own marketing.  Are they truly advocating against this perception of the ‘perfect’ body or merely using this as a marketing technique to sell their products and to attract customers?

The Dove ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign was launched in 2004 and their mission was to challenge stereotypical beauty in the advertisements. Dove uses real women with different shapes, sizes and ethnicities. Their ads are real and personable much like their product.  Does ‘Real Beauty’ come from using real products like Dove?


Victoria’s Secret campaign ‘Perfect Body’ tried in vain to highlight that their bras and panties were designed for different bodies.  Their campaign came under fire since there was little variety with the women they used.


Special K has created ‘I hate my body” moment that showcases women of different sizes, shapes and ages working out and having fun. The ads are motivating and empowering but the bottom line is that Special K has been marketed in the past as a diet cereal which ultimately undermines their ads telling women to love their bodies.



Love your body campaign – taken hostage by the media?

facebook    Love your body campaign – taken hostage by the media?