We all know Netflix has an infinite array of diverse films and shows. But why?
Could Netflix’s “disruptor” DNA be channeled to increase awareness around its commitment to diversity and equity and to model actual social and economic opportunity for the film industry?
The Idea: “Make Room”
Rather than politicizing the effort, we wanted to find a way to talk to everyone—from the viewers to the producers to the writers and the studio heads—and bring them into the conversation. We wanted them to think more deeply about WHY diversity is good, beyond the obvious representation issues. Under the banner of “Make Room,” we could talk about the need to make room in the industry, but also that making room creates advantages: creative room, innovative room, and room for new genres, new voices, and new stories that people love and connect with.
But talk, even about diversity, is cheap. As a female-founded agency, our vision was to create a film featuring and made by those underrepresented in the industry: women, people of color, LGBTQ, those from other countries, and those whose talents have been historically seen as less valuable…like people over 30! Using Netflix talent to tell the story, we enlisted Orange Is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba as our she-ro, genre-breaking comedian Hannah Gadsby, and the indigenous Mexican star of Oscar-nominated Roma, Yalitza Aparicio. We highlighted diverse shows from Netflix; brought on an African-American director, female creative and strategic teams, and a female editor; worked with a woman-led production company; and “made room” while making “Make Room.”
Netflix “Make Room” Spot
We also suggested a social strategy that included asking Netflix talent “Who made room for you?,” creating a relay of posts thanking and honoring those who’ve helped others break into the industry.
The Day After
When you feel strongly about something, it’s easy to generate conversation. But that’s not enough. Brands, just like people, have to stand for something. As people, discrimination takes away everyone’s humanity. As consumers, discrimination denies us exposure to the brilliant talent that could captivate, delight, challenge, and educate us. Our film asks people to identify with a sense of being left out, of being discriminated against, and ends with a promise that if you want to seek out new voices and new stories, they’re on Netflix, looking for you. This is what we mean when we say we want our work to be sustainable—that there is always a reason for what we do, and there is always a drive to keep working long after the original work is done.
Behind the Scenes
“Make Room” is Netflix’s most successful brand campaign to date from an earned media perspective.
Within the first two weeks:
total owned organic impressions.
impressions were on the first day.
Clio Entertainment | Social Media 2019
Clio Entertainment | Brand & Program Identity 2019
Campaign US | Inclusive & Creative Award 2019
Comm Arts | Advertising Annual 2019
Rosey Award 2019
The Oprah Magazine | March 1, 2019
Netflix’s “Make Room” Video Starring Uzo Aduba Will Make You Feel Seen
HuffPost | March 4, 2019
Netflix Issues Impassioned Statement in Response to Steven Spielberg and Oscars Backlash
Red & Co. IPCross-Platform Experience
Humanizing the Way We Search for Films
Creating a BrandPlatform & Ecosystem
A Doorway to Tech for Girls
Brand PurposeIndustry Leadership