Netflix’s Clever YouTube Prerolls Use Your Searches to Cue Up Specific Scenes From ‘Friends’

Ogilvy Paris tags thousands of top videos

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How do you make a sitcom like Friends, which went off the air 12 years ago—a year before YouTube even existed—seem relevant to YouTube users today?

If you're Netflix, which recently acquired the rights to stream all 10 seasons (that 236 episodes), you launch responsive preroll ads that take a user's search terms and dig up particular scenes from the show that are somehow related.

See how the clever campaign, from Ogilvy Paris, worked in this case-study video:

Ogilvy says it tagged thousands of YouTube's top searched videos in creating the campaign, and claims it's the first of its kind in the category.

Ogilvy Paris has a history of doing novel campaigns for Netflix, including this one from 2014 that brought GIF to out-of-home ads.


Client: Netflix

Project: The Friendly Preroll Campaign

Agency: Ogilvy Paris

Directeur Général: Philip Heimann

Executive Creative Director: Baptiste Clinet

Creative Director: Nicolas Lautier

Creative Team: David Martinangelus (ACD), Erika Reyes & Mateo Fernandez (AD)

Business Director: Anne-Sophie Carbo

Account Supervisor: Nadia Lasfar

Head of Strategic Planning: Alexandra Mimoun

Strategic Planner: Amélie Delacour

Head of Integrated Production: Antoine Bagot

Production Company: Fighting Fish

Media agency: Google

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.