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How Netflix championed itself as a Stree-ming service

Netflix India has been at the forefront of showcasing women-led narratives driven by eminent initiatives conveyed through compelling campaigns; here we browse through such campaigns and initiatives that establish the platform as a Stree-ming service.

Mainstream cinematic space has long predominantly been populated with the male gender. Lack of female representation on screen has also been accompanied by lack of gender diversity behind the camera, whether it’s the executive level producers, studio heads, cast, and technical or production crew. While we have observed several female-forward or women-led narratives in the mainstream space, the arrival of OTT platforms has marked the changing times.

OTT platforms have been enablers for several female-driven stories in these years. Streaming platforms have been observed to support a change towards a gender-diverse future.

For a campaign by Netflix India, Rasika Dugal, Actor, shared “All of us, men and women, are accountable for how women are treated in society and how women are portrayed on screen. Patriarchy isn’t gendered. And as women living in this system, we might have internalized it. Hence we constantly need to check ourselves on our prejudices. Streaming platforms, over the last few years, have made content which has pushed the boundaries and moved away from the formula.”

Dolly Singh, Digital Creator, mentioned, “I never saw a true representation of another woman on screen growing up and that really damaged my own idea of what being a woman is about, what female friendships are like, what women’s dreams and aspirations should be. Thankfully now that is changing. We are seeking stories which are for women, about women, and by women.”

Here we go through campaigns and initiatives by Netflix that represent the essence of showcasing a catalog of stories that are female-led or driven and enable storytellers to narrate, and actors to portray characters that are leading the era of Stree-ming.

Netflix has been nurturing its catalog of women-centric stories and advancing it through inspirational narratives weaved into campaigns. The formats, themes, and templates are often native to platforms. Their use of snippets or clips from the catalog of series and movies, and faces featured in the campaigns being frequent collaborators also improve the authenticity of the campaigns.

Bela Bajaria, Head Of Global TV, Netflix India, in a blogpost had mentioned, “In my mind, the hero of the story was always a brown girl”, and here we present campaigns and initiatives that championed Netflix as a Stree-ming platform where every brown girl is a ‘hero’ in the story.

Because She Watched

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In 2020, Netflix in association with UN Women launched the campaign ‘Because She Watched’ curated a momentous collection of films, series, and documentaries to celebrate International Women’s Day, curated by recommendations of 55 women from behind and in front of the camera, from around the world.

Revolving around the theme of ‘I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights’, the collection showcased creative works that have the ability to shape conversations and culture around women in the society, represent the current state of affairs, and contribute to achieving gender equality and realize women’s rights.

Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women, mentioned “This collaboration is about taking on the challenge of telling women’s stories and showing women in all their diversity. It’s about making visible the invisible, and proving that only by fully representing and including women on screen, behind-the-camera and in our narratives overall, society will truly flourish”.

She’s Just A Story Away

In 2021, Netflix announced a partnership with the National Film Development Corporation to support a screenwriting course for 100 women in India, as a part of a global program designed to scout and train talent around the world. This initiative was introduced on International Women’s Day 2021 with the campaign ‘She’s Just A Story Away’.

The campaign featured filmmakers, creators, actors, producers, and executives sharing their stories and take on women’s representation on the screen and behind the camera.

A juncture of the campaign also integrated collaboration with RAW MANGO, apparel and clothing brand. The personalities featured in the static stills were seen donning the brand’s product range such as Rasika Dugal in the all-over floral printed ‘Rey tunic and ‘Anosh’ salwar, Zoya Hussain in ‘Nasreen’ Mashru sari paired with ‘Shah’ silk blouse, and so on.

A video advert with an inspirational note and snippets from various shows and movies stitched to form a narrative also supported the campaign.

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