Short List
Product / ServiceBIRDBOX
CategoryE01. Use of Integrated Media


Name Company Position
Guo You Chew This is Tommy Pte Ltd Managing Director

Why is this work relevant for Media?

As the first “Original” Film blockbuster Birdbox gave Netflix a unique opportunity to hijack Malaysian film fans, leveraging the audience’s daily habits alongside local partners and environments to localize global content through the daily narrative of media. We terrorized morning news readers through apocalyptic front-page headlines and chilling (native) articles across the largest news platforms warning Malaysia of the impending horror. Then we introduced the only thing that could save them – the blindfold - intercepting film fans in physical and virtual spaces transforming the key cinematic visual into a sensory mnemonic, through giving Malaysia it’s very own Birdbox experience.


Malaysia is the no.1 cinema going country in SEA. How do you get a country of habitual cinema goers to stay home and watch Netflix? In December 2018 Netflix released their first blockbuster horror movie, Birdbox - starring Sandra Bullock. Netflix wanted to launch and turn Birdbox into the #1 streamed film on platform in Malaysia, to position Netflix as the home of horror. Breaking into the movie market is no easy feat, let alone in Malaysia during peak film release season. To convince habitual cinema-going horror lovers to stay home to watch Netflix, we knew we had to give blockbuster status to a film that was never going to be seen on a movie screen.

Describe the creative idea/insights (30% of vote)

A focus group uncovered three critical insights: - Going to the movies is a ritual grounded in cultural capital. Malaysian’s love to showcase their film knowledge, immersing themselves in the stories - Malaysia has a deep history in supernatural myths based on a strong belief in the afterlife. This leads to heavy fandom in horror film titles - Horror films sensationalize the scariest elements of the film; think the red balloon in ‘IT’. These elements instantly conjure the title eliciting the fear experienced in the film To truly give Malaysians the scare they crave, we needed to hijack media they use to discover and discuss content to give them experiences they couldn’t help but share. SIGHT WON’T SAVE YOU We showed Malaysia what it feels like to live in the horror of Birdbox by threatening our audience’s most crucial sense - their sight - creating visual equity around the blindfold.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

There were 6.5M Malaysian movie-goers with horror affinity (Social Listening) dissecting plot lines and creating content around their favorite horrors. The experience lived far beyond the film, wanting to get fully immersed. SIGHT WON’T SAVE YOU From 21st-31st of December 2018, we convinced Horror-Lovers that ‘Sight Won’t Save You’, and positioned Birdbox as the only Blockbuster worth staying inside for. We created a media ecosystem that intercepted horror fans from their newsfeeds (press/social) to their cinema ritual (OOH/retail), sensationalizing the fear of losing sight. TRIGGER FEAR: PRINT, RADIO, ONLINE To get our Horror Lovers socializing the film, we needed to inject fear into the everyday. We integrated with trusted broadcast media channels to spark fear in the unknown – at scale. EMBED THE BLINDFOLD: EXPERIENTIAL, RADIO, OOH, ONLINE We intercepted the cinema ritual with shared experiences that embedded the blindfold to turn it into a shareable mnemonic for the film.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

TRIGGERING FEAR To dramatize the film’s ‘mysterious force’, we leveraged scale and authority of Malaysia’s largest english publication, TheStar, issuing a front page ‘Global Safety Warning’. Chilling apocalyptic images stirred intrigue, with contextual native articles (cross-channel) revealing the Birdbox plot and CTA. Then we brought fear to Malaysia’s ears through 3D audio and radio immersing listeners in warnings from the protagonist, urging them to stay inside and keep their blindfolds on at all times. EMBEDDING THE BLINDFOLD Once fans were hooked, we built an escape room, THE BIRDBOX, in BerjayaTimesSquare where participants navigated obstacles from the film… blindfolded, socializing the image. We partnered with our audience’s favourite radio station DJ’s at FlyFM to cover their experience of the Birdbox live on air, driving footfall and engagement among listeners. To connect the ecosystem, a Waze partnership intercepted cinema-goers in proximity to DOOH placements and redirected them to the activation.

List the results (30% of vote)

Sight didn’t save Malaysia. In just 10 days, the Birdbox campaign achieved 178+ million media impressions across OOH, digital, radio and experiential. Birdbox became the biggest and most talked about Netflix film in 2018 with +20,916% increase in social mentions during the campaign (+7,776 mentions Vs 37 in the week prior), fueling parodies and UGC that made the blindfold iconic. The Netflix brand also received 77.5% increase in social mentions, with search interest spiking at +52,817 searches during the campaign. 579k people interacted with Waze navigation pins and 88% activated navigation to the experiential activation. The geo-targeted XtremeTakeovers in proximity to DOOH locations garnered 41K saved Netflix offers in just 3 days. With an uplift in viewing by 245% Vs the nearest title in the quarter, Birdbox was the #1 streamed film in Malaysia in 2018, turning Netflix into the home for Blockbuster film.