La Casa de Papel was released a few years ago in its original setting, Antena 3, no one foresaw what it was going to become. The series was a quiet success, but when it reached Netflix and premiered globally, it became a historic bombshell. The series made Spanish series fashionable and elevated Netflix Spain as a creator of content with a global pull. The series became a global phenomenon – and it became an unexpectedly profitable investment for the Spanish brands that had opted for its first episodes – and one more element of brand image for Netflix.
Taking care of the series and the content began to be a key issue. But what are the main problems that series and movies have in the internet age? First, of course, is to fail to meet the demanding expectations of viewers and not live up to your brand (and there is little the marketing department can do). Second, it is the fact that the Internet users themselves burst the hook of your product. It’s the fear of spoilers.
Audiovisual companies fear them and most viewers hate them (to the point that, if you write content, you have no choice but to notify actively and passively if you are going to reveal any details of the plot that spoilers are coming) . But for the marketing department they have become an opportunity: to do guerilla marketing by playing with it (and aspire to turn their actions into viral marketing in the process). Spoilers don’t even have to be their own. Burger King did guerilla marketing a few years ago gutting Star Wars .
Kidnapped in a plane
The latest Netflix campaign – created by Publicis for its Italian division – plays on the fear of spoilers and the heightened interest in the new installment of La Casa de Papel , to create a story with the potential to go viral. Netflix Italia summoned what it considers the 100 biggest fans in its market, but also the worst when it comes to sharing information about the titles.
Basically, they were selected for being “the most feared Italian spoiler makers.” These fans received an invitation for a special screening in Madrid of the new season of the series, but in reality they were invited to see it in an environment in which smartphones with an internet connection could not be used.
They were “kidnapped” for five hours on a plane, flying and watching the new season, without being able to tell anyone. According to the figures that Publicis gives when talking about the campaign, 12.5% of the conversations that a series or program generates in its first hours after its premiere are spoilers.
Removing the biggest Italian plot rippers from the equation would, in theory, give Italian viewers some peace to watch the new season without having key moments revealed ahead of time. Although the campaign has certain dark points (it is to be expected that critical voices will be raised with the fact that they have had 5 hours flying a polluting plane for this), the campaign connects with the guerrilla idea of the very essence of the series.
The fans themselves were surrounded by people dressed as the members of the team and the voice-over that announced what was happening was that of the Professor’s Italian voice actor.