Netflix’s Secretive New Narcos Ads Are Popping Up, Cocaine-Like, in Nightclub Bathrooms

Doner hits L.A., Chicago, New York and Miami

The Netflix cocaine drama Narcos has always gotten great advertising, and this latest effort from DonerLA is no exception—a contextual out-of-home campaign that puts ads in the bathrooms of clubs and bars, where customers in the ’90s would have been sampling the product that the Cali Cartel was distributing.

“Here in the ’90s? There’s an 80% chance this power came from the Cali Cartel,” says transparent stickers placed on urinals and toilet-paper dispensers. Next to the copy is an image of a rolled-up $1 bill and white powder.

Contextual out-of-home is often a really delightful way to advertise. And the ads have proven so popular that they keep disappearing from their locations, or as the agency has taken to calling them, blow-cations.

The agency also made coasters, including some that are mirrors—widely known as cocaine’s favorite surface to be snorted from, not counting strippers’ backsides.

Season 3 of Narcos just rolled out on Netflix. And as with previous season, the advertising is largely built around fact-based campaigns utilizing lots of statistics—this season, to illustrate the Cali Cartel’s massive scale of operations, power and wealth, which far exceeded that of Pablo Escobar. Stats in the campaign include:

• Every three hours, the Cali Cartel made $917,000.
• In 1995, the Cali Cartel earned more than Pablo Escobar and any of that year’s Fortune 500 Companies.
• The Cali Cartel was responsible for trafficking 80 percent of the world’s cocaine supply.

Client: Netflix
Show: Narcos, Season Three
Agency: DonerLA

Jason Gaboriau – EVP, Chief Creative Officer
Drew Brooks – Design Director, Creative Director
Michael Cessario – Creative Director
Nomin Boutchard – Art Director
Lucas Nelson – Copywriter
Sara Schwartz – VP, Brand Leader
Matt Phillips – Brand Leader
Britta Couris – Producer
Doug Thompson – Print Production Supervisor
Kathryn Lyons-Urbanek – Art Production Supervisor

Recommended articles