Pretty much everyone loves Netflix. And not just for the sheer joy of watching movies on your laptop while eating chips in your pajamas. Lately, Netflix’s original content has been the really big draw. After the 2014 release of House of Cards, their first original series, Netflix saw an increase of 4 million new subscribers that quarter. Today, they release incredible, original content on what feels like a weekly basis. How do they manage this high quality, high quantity balancing act? It’s not dumb luck. Netflix has a strategy that pretty much boils down to this: give creative people complete creative control.
Sounds risky, right? Why would you give mercurial creatives complete creative control? Glad you asked!
Your best creatives-for-hire have been extensively trained in, well, being creative. They’ve spent countless hours honing their skills in creative concepting, experimentation within brand identities, and lateral thinking skills. To shortcut their process with strict rules and rigid expectations is to rob yourself of their real value: conveying your brand identity to your audience in the most interesting, unexpected, and impactful way. Take the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign. On its face, flipping the script on traditional beauty campaigns to say “every woman is beautiful just the way she is” doesn’t seem like the greatest way to sell beauty products. Nevertheless, Dove’s sales have increased from 2.5 to 4 billion dollars since its launch.
They have an original take.
When Procter & Gamble switched their Old Spice account (which was struggling) to Wieden + Kennedy (who subsequently did the “man on a horse who smells like a man” campaign), they cited a desire to “work with an agency that didn’t know them so well.” Lesson learned: never doubt the value of fresh eyes (and a good-smelling man on a mighty steed).
They’ll make you rich.
According to the Harvard Business Review, every dollar invested in a “creative” ad campaign has, on average, twice the payoff as one invested in a “non-creative” campaign. Which is some wicked sweet ROI and a great segue back to our original argument: the more creative control you give your creatives, the better (and more profitable) work you’ll get in return.
Have an unexpectedly delightful weekend everybody!
-Your creatively liberated friends at Brokaw.