‘Sugar Puffs or Frosties?’ How Netflix’s bet on interactive TV could pay off

Beyond the novelty of gimmick itself is massive marketing potential for Netflix to discover its users’ real-life preferences beyond their most “recently watched.”


January 3, 2019

After Bird Box, Netflix’s next-most-buzzworthy movie was Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, a choose-your-own-adventure-style thriller that follows the main character, Stefan, as he attempts to design a video game of the same title. Meta, right?

But beyond the novelty of the gimmick itself is a massive marketing opportunity for Netflix to discover its users’ real-life preferences beyond their most “recently watched.”

‘Because you chose Frosties…’

The Verge points out that this seemingly inconsequential cereal choice at the beginning of Bandersnatch presents a massive opportunity: Programmatic product placement.

That’s right, the days of clunky Coca-Cola plugs may soon be replaced with clunky [INSERT BEVERAGE OF CHOICE] plugs — and earn Netflix valuable advertising insight that it could offer brands prior to production.

It also paves the way for tailor-made content

Netflix has already mastered the “microgenre,” and now user choices in interactive narratives could reveal viewer preferences and guide future productions (maybe 18-25-year-olds prefer more bloodshed, maybe baby boomers want romance, etc.).

It’s like a screen test on steroids: Asking viewers what they want to watch (be it a slasher or a romcom) and delivering their choice in real time. As TV enters uncharted territory, Netflix will determine which direction interactive content goes.

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