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Netflix appoints creative and social agencies ahead of Australian marketing blitz

Netflix

US streaming giant Netflix is understood to have appointed a creative and social media agency, in a move which will fuel increasing speculation that it will launch locally next year.

Mumbrella understands Droga5 has been handed creative duties for the brand in Australia following a pitch, whilst We Are Social, which also handles the account in the US and UK, will lead the social media push.

It is thought the service will launch a multi-million dollar marketing blitz when it does enter the market, worth upwards of $20m. However, that could be as late as the second half of next year as it looks to tie-up content rights for local programs.

While the company has consistently refused to comment on speculation it will enter the local market officially, last month execs did admit interest in the Australian and New Zealand market.

Whilst MEC is Netflix’s agency of record internationally it is not clear if the local office will be working on the account. It is understood there has also been a pitch for the PR account in market as well, although it is unclear if it has been decided.

All agencies contacted declined to comment.

The win comes as a boost for Droga5 with the agency losing a number of clients in the past year including WoolworthsING Direct, Sunbeam and Mondelez  Cadbury biscuit brands. However, it recently picked up the regional account for Singapore-based beer brand Tiger, as well as taking new ECD Steve Coll from Havas Worldwide.

Local media companies have been looking at their own subscription video on demand plays in the past few months to counter the threat from the global giant.

Nine Entertainment Co’s joint venture with Fairfax StreamCo recently appointed creative agency AJF Partnership to work on its launch campaign which could be in market before Christmas. Mumbrella understands Droga5 was also involved in the StreamCo pitch.

Meanwhile Foxtel has this week launched its video-on-demand offering BoxSets, with speculation Networks Ten and Seven could be set to join its Presto streaming subscription service.

At the ASTRA conference in September Shaun James, the head of Presto, said Netflix will be an “inferior” service in the local market because many of the premium rights for studios including HBO are already sewn-up with local providers. Stephen Langsford, the boss of Australian-based SVOD service Quickflix has challenged its US-rival to “come through the front door” to the Australian market and cut off access for an estimated 200,000 local subscribers using VPNs to access the US version of Netflix.

The US-based streaming service has recently launched in France, giving the nod to Ogilvy Paris to roll out its launch marketing campaign which has seen the agency use GIFs of TV shows and movies available on Netflix on digital outdoor sites. Crispin Porter & Bogusky handle Netflix’s advertising in the US.

Netflix lodged a copyright claim for its name in Australia at the start of the year.

Netflix declined to comment.

Alex Hayes

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