Netflix Uses Print for Oscar Push

If Netflix wins an Oscar, it could be a true game-changer: A victory would prove once and for all that a movie shown primarily online can be taken as seriously as traditional films and remove any final hesitations top talent might have in working with the streaming giant.

Accordingly, Netflix is leaving absolutely nothing to chance. Last year it hired Lisa Taback, who drove campaigns for seven past Best Picture winners, and she is spending what industry sources estimate is as much as $25 million on promoting the film – and a share of it, of course, is going to advertising. Kantar Media took a deeper look to see how much Netflix has spent and what it’s getting for its buy.

And the prize goes to. . . print!

According to Kantar Media’s analysis, Netflix has invested a total of $7.3 million on advertising dedicated to Roma from December 10, 2018-February 17, 2019, with $4.7 million, or 65%, going to newspapers. The highly targeted media buy was focused on just two publications, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times – ideal channels for reaching an older, affluent audience of Academy voters that lives predominantly on the coasts. TV then accounted for 26% of the budget, with the rest going to online, radio and magazine ads.


The timing of Netflix’s investment was also quite shrewd, with $1.9 million spent during the week of December 31 while $1.3 million was spent on the weeks of December 24 and January 7. Not coincidentally, Oscar nomination voting occurs from January 7-January 14. Advertising spend then fell significantly, with lobbying efforts now likely focused more on more direct efforts such as mailings, gifts and parties. However, ads that did run were updated to include the new accolades Roma had racked up during award season, with an ad that debuted on February 15 referencing the Baftas the movie won during the past weekend. 

Will it all pay off? The world will find out this Sunday, February 24, when the final golden statue is handed over. 

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