Even with the votes cast and the fate of the Oscar encased in an envelope, the public relations campaign does not rest on Hollywood. Within hours of the statuettes being delivered to the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, major marketing operations keep pace. At the head of that race is Netflix, the giant of streaming Its imposing building on the famed Sunset Boulevard casts a shadow over this city, which tonight celebrates the most important awards in the entertainment industry. And Netflix seems willing to do everything to make 2019, at last, its year.
Netflix already has a couple of Oscar Awards. He got them in the documentary field with Icarus (2018) and The White Helmets (2017), winner of the best short documentary. The bet, however, has doubled to expand the domain in the field of fiction. And you can see it. The company has significantly increased its investment in marketing during 2018, year in which the struggle to expand the global subscriber base went into the background. "Almost all our investments have been made to promote our incredible new titles as Bird Box. In that we are mainly focused, "explained the CEO of the company, Reed Hastings, in a call with investors last January.
In the second half of 2018, Netflix's investment in marketing was 717 million dollars, more than the company spent in 2016 in the same concept (684 million dollars). In two years, investment in marketing increased 96% to reach 1,344 million in 2018. The period of greatest investment coincides with the launch of Rome, of Alfonso Cuaron, premiered in August during the Venice Film Festival; Y Bird Box, by Susanne Bier.
Los Angeles is still covered with advertising of the film by Alfonso Cuarón. From abandoned houses used by homeless people to the most important canopies of the main avenues of the city, the company advertises the ten nominations that are at stake (best film, director, actress, actress, photography, script, design of production, foreign film, sound editing and sound mixing).
Ted Sarandos, Netflix's head of content, explained to this newspaper that the strategy has gone from marketing within the platform itself, where they consume about 1,000 million daily hours of content worldwide, to one overseas. "We are experiencing a lot of how to position and create enthusiasm before a movie comes out. Is it a good idea to create that enthusiasm before it is released? Maybe it's better to do it after it's launched on the platform ... We're still learning a lot of this, "he said.
Rome it has become one of the main vehicles to show Netflix's marketing muscle. The film, produced by Participant Media, was considered the most likely to conquer the tastes of the Academy, which will be put to the test this morning. "It's a film that is done once every generation," says Sarandos. The press that follows the pulse of the industry assures that Netflix provided the production of an aggressive advertising campaign that included public relations companies and consultants specialized in the courtship of the nearly 6,000 members of the Academy. Some estimates estimate that the cost of this campaign round 30 million dollars.
Activism for domestic workers
Cuarón has taken advantage of the great final impulse of Rome before the Oscar to reinforce a message of change in society. The Mexican director has spent the last weeks focused on raising awareness among domestic workers, mainly in Mexico and the United States, with the help of several organizations. In his native country, the filmmaker recently launched a message to invite employees and employers to join a pilot program of the Mexican Government to provide social security to a universe that does not have access to these services. The calculation is of two million women who could be in this situation.
This Sunday, Cuarón is expected to visit an event of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) before parading the red carpet of the Dolby Theater. The event is to honor some thirty domestic workers of the organization and will be attended by actresses such as Rashida Jones, Rosanna Arquette, Eva Longoria and Naomi Scott, who stars in the new version of Aladdin. The meeting will take place at The Jane Club, in honor of the Nobel Peace Prize Jane Addams, a private gathering point where women members meet to work, debate and listen to lectures on empowerment and feminism. It will be the penultimate platform from which Cuarón will be able to launch a message that calls for action before going on stage at the Dolby Theater. If it does.