The third season of Netflix’sOrange Is the New Black(OITNB) premieres thisFriday, June 12th. Before we all disappear for 15 hours of glorious, uninterrupted binge-watching, let’s just take a moment to (re)learn an important lesson from this show and its creators:know your audience, and give them what they want.
I am not talking about using big data to understand your audiences and engineer the perfect show(s) for them – although Netflixhas done this, too, with excellent results. I am talking about how, in the year between seasons 2 and 3, the OITNB creative team has continuedto produce and distribute OITNB-related contentthatessentiallyresponds to a simple audience request:more of the show, all of the time.
Want a few examples? Here are four pieces of great branded content that have been used strategically to extend and amplify the OITNB brand experience:
1. The December 2014Holidays at Litchfieldvideo where the actors (in character, in costume, on set)wish their fans happy winter holidaysby covering the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song with a clear OITNB twist to the lyrics:
2. The#OnWednesdaysWeWearOrangehashtag, which creates animmersiveexperience byturning the spotlight onto all OITNB fans. Every Wednesday, the best/most representative images posted and tagged by fans wearing orange clothes and accessories are compiled together and re-posted on the main OITNB social media accounts:
3. The deliciously meta’Stop, Don’t Talk to Me’ song coverthat went viral last March, where (follow me) the cast sing their version of a songcreated bya fewOITNB fans, who had been in turn inspired by a snippet of a song sung by one of the characters during an episode. I told you it was meta
4. TheFacebook memesthat feature characters and memorable quotes from past episodes – and even a few teasers from upcoming ones. This is a perfect example of branded visuals that can be easily liked, shared and retweeted,increasing the ‘buzz’around the show and the anticipation levels for the new season:
To sum up:
These days, consumers want and expect tointeractwith their favourite brands inmore places, on different devices and at all times. Brands who wish to stay relevant have already stopped thinking in terms of ‘one-offs’, and instead know how tocreate an ‘always-on’, continued, multi-layered, multi-platform experience for their audiences.
Get inspired by OITNB for your next brand experience strategy… and happy binge-watching weekend!