Netflix TMI Tweet: Cute or Creepy Marketing?


Netflix is catching hate from a few users who believe their private lives are being mocked publicly. This may sound familiar, in that brands like @Wendys and @KFC regularly joke with customers, but the difference here is that @netflix used private information that its customers didn’t disclose or allow to be disclosed.
It’s bringing up the debate about when, or even whether, companies should reveal private, anonymized customer data in marketing and how. (A few customers were mainly upset because they believed their personal tastes were being insulted.)
“You’re not my mom,” is a tweet from @AmandaJuneBell in response to @netflix’s outing of 53 users who’d watched a romantic holiday movie. Granted, her reaction could itself have been a joke, but other customers were more clear about their displeasure with this @netflix tweet.
https://twitter.com/netflix/status/940051734650503168
The difference with Wendy’s and KFC customers is that they appear to be in on the joke voluntarily. They’re tweeting with the brands. (At the beginning of its reign of snark, @Wendys did mock some customers harshly enough to result in at least one deleting his account. But the brand seems to have moved away from utter humiliation efforts.)
Spotify, which is also known for using customer data in its marketing efforts, does ask users if they’d like to participate in the ads, says Sapna Maheshwari on Dec. 17 in The New York Times. Her piece does explore the privacy agreement in, “Netflix and Spotify Ask: Can Data Mining Make for Cute Ads?”
Netflix users tend to highly praise the recommended watch lists they get privately from the company, based on their user behaviors. But even though the company anonymized the behavioral data used for the tweet, these users weren’t happy:
https://twitter.com/erikwecks/status/940590191592448000
https://twitter.com/1001chicago/status/940546506377105409
Maheshwari writes: