- Netflix has announced a new deal to feature GM electric vehicles in popular shows like “Love is Blind” and “Queer Eye.”
- It’s Netflix’s first marketing deal of this size and scope.
- The pact with GM follows Netflix’s recent rollout of an ad-based subscription tier.
Netflix is integrating General Motors’ electric vehicles into its popular shows as part of a new deal with the automaker, the latest example of the streamer’s broad embrace of brands.
The two companies will promote their initiative with a 60-second Super Bowl commercial featuring Will Ferrell, who also starred in GM’s 2021 Super Bowl ad. In the new ad, Ferrell tackles some of the deal’s creative implications head-on while dressed as a character from the Regency-era “Bridgerton” series.
“Now should they add EVs everywhere?” Ferrell asks on the spot. “They won’t. They won’t. Is it won’t or won’t it?”
Netflix CMO Marian Lee said the streamer has committed to including at least one EV in all series produced by Netflix. GM EVs featured in “Love is Blind” and “Queer Eye” in 2022 and will appear in the upcoming comedy series “Unstable” starring Rob Lowe and his son. At a press conference announcing the deal, Lee said that directors and showrunners would be involved in the process and that the cars would be “authentically” integrated so they wouldn’t “feel out of place”.
“We’re really focused on educating creators on how to utilize EVs in all of their productions,” said Lee. “We don’t dictate plots.”
With the pact, GM hopes to normalize EVs by showcasing cars like the Chevrolet Bolt and Cadillac Lyric in popular series, while Netflix seeks to market itself as committed to the environment.
The deal is an extension of GM’s “Everybody In” campaign that launched in early 2021. The deal, which was brokered by UTA and involved co-CEO Ted Sarandos from the start, has been in the works since March of that year.
“Entertainment has a huge impact on culture. We want to make EVs famous on streaming, small screens and silverware to build EV culture through storytelling that embodies the experiences of driving and owning an EV,” said GM Global CMO Deborah Wahl in a statement. . “Netflix is a great partner because of the company’s compelling storytelling, commitment to sustainability and history of starting conversations that shape cultural trends.”
Product placement has been on the rise as brands look for ways to create emotional connections with consumers. PQ Media estimated that global product placement spend would grow 14.3% to $26.2 billion in 2022, following a 12.3% increase in 2021, driven by streaming content, digital media and video. TV placement dominates the category, valued at $16.06 billion globally in 2021, according to PQ Media.
Netflix has a history of putting brands like Coca-Cola and GM on shows like “Stranger Things” and “Queer Eye,” but this is the first deal of its scale and scope, the company said. It follows the November launch of the streamer’s ad-supported tier, Basic with Ads, which reversed Netflix’s longstanding opposition to ads.
According to PQ Media, “Stranger Things” featured 140 products in 2021, including Skittles, Sony, Reebok and Eggo. The company typically avoids pay-to-play product placements. Lee insisted that GM’s deal is not “product placement” and that GM is not paying to put its vehicles in shows. Terms of the deal were not shared; GM said it was not part of a TV ad purchase on Netflix’s Basic with Ads.
The deal is also notable for how Netflix talks about its cultural influence, something it has been hesitant to do.
“At Netflix, we create shows and movies that can influence culture and spark meaningful conversations,” Lee said in a press release. “From TikTok’s dance trends inspired by ‘Wednesday’ to thoughtful discussions of climate change with ‘Don’t Look Up’, we know that entertainment can drive fandom and inspire connections.”
This article was originally published on February 2nd and has been updated.