Once known as God Particle, J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield Paradox has had a troubled release history. After experiencing repeated delays, it was announced in late January that Netflix was in talks to buy the movie from Paramount Pictures. Prior to even officially confirming that the streaming service had acquired the film, Netflix spent upwards of $5 million on a 30-second Super Bowl ad telling the event’s enormous audience that they could watch the third installment in the franchise as soon as the big game was over.
Shortly after the announcement, filmmaker Ava DuVernay called Cloverfield Paradox and its release a “gamechanger” on Twitter, and she’s right. Netflix’s marketing strategy with Cloverfield Paradox was brilliant. And while it’s not yet clear how well Cloverfield Paradox will end up doing for the streaming service overall, the movie will get a lot of views in its first days online. Netflix’s strategy took advantage of the Super Bowl in a way nobody has before, in the process (and possibly deliberately) bypassing reviewers who, in a traditional release setting, might have driven viewers away from the film.
Cloverfield Paradox Perfectly Took Advantage of the Super Bowl
Choosing to release Cloverfield Paradox without pre-announce ing it capitalized on the Super Bowl’s massive audience in two ways. It generated enormous social media buzz, and got the film’s name in front of over a hundred-million viewers. The movie’s announcement generated a lot of social media buzz, in large part because of the boldness of Netflix’s move. People were talking about the the streaming service’s decision to release a film on only a few hours notice, after all, which is something we’ve never seen before. A lot of social media buzz rarely hurts a film, and it may, in fact, have been even more effective in driving viewers to watch the movie than the viral marketing and alternate reality game campaigns that helped generate buzz for Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane.
The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched television events any given year, so Netflix’s short, mysterious ad got Cloverfield Paradox‘s name out in front of a massive audience that — based on the many other trailers for upcoming superhero and sci-fi themed movies that always play during the game — is pretty interested in that sort of content. Although many remained tuned to NBC for the massive This is Us episode, which aired immediately after the game, Cloverfield Paradox offered fans of genre entertainment an alternative, leading many viewers to spend their night on the streaming service.
Netflix’s blitz also took advantage of what some are dubbing “Super Sick Monday,” the day after the Super Bowl when nearly 14 million people are expected to miss work. Cloverfield Paradox‘s release gives people something to do on their impromptu day off from work, meaning that more viewers are likely to watch the movie.
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