Content Marketing Lessons: Netflix’s Content Localisation Efforts in Singapore
Netflix and chill? Pretty sure most people know the meaning or at the very least has heard of this term. With their extensive library of great entertainment content and reasonably priced subscription fees (no contract as well!), Netflix has been a hit with Singaporeans since entering the market in early 2016.
Besides having a great product, they have also put in a great deal of effort when it comes to marketing to Singapore audiences. In this article, we will explore how Netflix went about localising their content marketing approach in an effort to integrate into the Singapore market.
When Netflix first arrived, I initially thought their marketing dollars would mainly be focused on paid media. However, I was pleasantly surprised by their efforts in developing content specifically for the Singapore market.
The use of local celebrities for their promotional efforts.
To promote some of their upcoming originals, Netflix specifically invited local actors to create parody versions of the show itself. This approach adds a taste of Singapore into the show, as compared to the usual trailers/promotional clips.
One example that got many Singaporeans talking would be the video for Orange Is The New Black, starring Michelle Chong. She portrays a Singapore female stereotype ‘ah lian’, incorporating Singlish into her lines along with original cast member, Uzo Aduba.
The actors of Army Daze also reunited to film the promotional video for War Machine.
These promotional videos have received praise from many as well as criticism for “trying too hard ”.
However, in a content marketing perspective, this is a commendable approach. And considering the effort (budget!!!) required for producing such localised content, this shows that they consider Singapore to be a very important market in their global expansion plans.
Use of Familiar Landmarks
With incidents such as cat abuse, murder and shopping mall stabbings, Yishun has been dubbed by netizens as the most notorious place in Singapore. Making it the perfect place for Netflix to promote Season 2 of the hit series ‘Stranger Things’.
Another notable effort would be this promotional image with an SMRT bus in the backdrop for the upcoming series ‘Okja’.
Integrating into Singapore’s Culture
More than 20 Chinese TV series by Mediacorp such as The Little Nyonya and The Truth Seekers will be made available on Netflix in early 2018. Seeing that local free-to-air TV might not be very popular among Singaporeans these days, this provides a great opportunity for these local TV series to garner more reach with a global audience. It also promotes inclusivity of Singapore’s culture instead of limiting it to just International films.
Casting local actors in Marco Polo: A Netflix Original Series
It is also good to know that the hit series Marco Polo has a cast that included a number of Singaporeans such as Ng Chin Han, Tan Kheng Hua, Oon Shu An and Tosh Rock.