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The Series
• The series was first aired on Netflix on 15th
July 2016
• There were only 8 episodes
• Written and directed b...
The Duffer Brothers
• The Duffer brothers began making films in
the third grade using a Hi8 video camera
that was a gift f...
The idea
After discussing the movie as a jumping-off point, the
brothers began talking about what Matt describes as "bizar...
Production and Distribution
• Produced by 21 Laps (TV and Film credits include
Night at the Museum)
• Original Netflix ser...
In large part, the success of Stranger Things can be attributed to its
pacing and it's binge-ability — a quality character...
Budget
• It’s unclear how much the first episode cost,
but we know (according to Duffer Brothers)
that the show had a low ...
The cast
Most of the cast are largely unknown with the
exception of two star names:
Winona Ryder Matthew Modine
The Dark
K...
Think of as many different audience
groups as you can who might enjoy
Stranger Things
Apply audience concepts:
• Primary/s...
Marketing
The marketing of the series used a variety of
methods to create visibility & word of mouth
Methods mixed above-t...
Haunted Basement
• A 4-hour live steam on the Twitch app
• Twitch app is popular with gamers
• The stream featured gamers ...
Twitch survey
• Netflix used Twitch to promote the smash hit
Stranger Things by arranging for a group of Twitch
influencer...
Youtube
Cinematic trailer released on Youtube on 9th June 2016
The first 8 minutes of Chapter 1 were also released on
Yout...
Google trends
Click the image for detailed info
Social Media
• The series has its own official
Twitter, Facebook and Insta
accounts
• Features links to
announcements, Q&A...
Digital Technology
• Social Media also enabled the fans to continue
to immerse themselves in the series through
hashtags:
...
Millennials
• The Millennial generation now represents a
quarter of the U.S. population. This group also
has an annual buy...
Nostalgia Marketing
• There’s a lot that can be taken away from the wild
success of Stranger Things and the nostalgic, or
...
• Stranger Things lays the nostalgia factor on thick with
80s fashion and hairstyles, and harkens memories of a
time when ...
• The series revived a plethora of nostalgic
memories, especially of 80s movies such as
E.T. and Goonies, but with fantast...
Intertextual references to create a
sense of nostalgia
Click the image
Spielberg – ET was a
huge influence and the
Duffer Brothers
originally wanted to set
the film by the coast as
a way to mak...
Nightmare on Elm Street
The Goonies
Firestarter
A girl with telekinetic power and who is also experimented on
Stand By Me / The Body
Both these 80s films include the scene where the group
of friends are walking along a train line wh...
Fandom and Stranger Things
• The series has a strong online fan base
• Fans often create negotiated readings of the text
•...
After the show's release....
• Important to keep audience
interest
• Viral news report - released
online in November 2016
...
Merchandise
• Stranger Things Pop Dolls
Netflix + Merchandise
• Thanks to hordes of crazed "Stranger Things" fans, Netflix
is testing the idea of merchandise for ...
Synergy
• Eleven’s favourite food are Eggo
waffles.
• Kellogg’s Eggo was not product
placement in the first series.
• Howe...
Eggo was quick
to capitalise on
the internet’s
love of “Stranger
Things” so made
sure they
included Eleven
in its National...
Season 2
• Release date 31st October 2017
MS4 Case Study: Stranger Things - Industry and Audience
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MS4 Case Study: Stranger Things - Industry and Audience

WJEC MS4, Television, Media Studies, Stranger Things, Industry, Production, Marketing, Distribution, Audience

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MS4 Case Study: Stranger Things - Industry and Audience

  1. 1. The Series • The series was first aired on Netflix on 15th July 2016 • There were only 8 episodes • Written and directed by The Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer)
  2. 2. The Duffer Brothers • The Duffer brothers began making films in the third grade using a Hi8 video camera that was a gift from their parents. • They relocated to Orange, California to study film at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, where they graduated in 2007. • After writing and/or directing a number of short films, their script for the post- apocalyptic horror film, Hidden, was acquired by Warner Bros. Pictures in 2011. • The brothers directed the film in 2012, which was released in 2015. • Director M. Night Shyamalan read the script and hired them as writer/producers on the Fox television series Wayward Pines.
  3. 3. The idea After discussing the movie as a jumping-off point, the brothers began talking about what Matt describes as "bizarre experiments we had read about taking place in the Cold War," specifically Project MKUltra, a mind-control program the CIA led from the Fifties through the Seventies. That led them to placing the show in the 1983, a year before the Cold-War–hysteria epic Red Dawn came out, and it brought into focus the fantasy aspect of the story they'd wanted to include. "We wanted the supernatural element to be grounded in science in some way," Matt says. "As ridiculous as it is, the monster [in the alternate dimension] doesn't come from a spiritual domain and it's not connected to any religion. It made it scarier. I don't believe in ghosts, but I believe in aliens and alternate dimensions.
  4. 4. Production and Distribution • Produced by 21 Laps (TV and Film credits include Night at the Museum) • Original Netflix series, so paid for by them and distributed by them exclusively • Ranked as the most popular digital series in the US only after the week after its release on Netflix (3 x more viewings that OITNB)
  5. 5. In large part, the success of Stranger Things can be attributed to its pacing and it's binge-ability — a quality characteristic of Netflix. In its earlier iterations, the Duffer Brothers wanted Stranger Things to be a film. It wasn't until meeting with Netflix that they could decided not only their ideal format, but to also let their series play out without being restricted to a standard 13 or 22 episode run. • Matt [Duffer]: The cool thing about TV is you have a lot more time. (But) you’re not stuck now with 22 episodes. It’s almost impossible to tell a cinematic story when you have that many episodes. Ross [Duffer]: This is almost really the first time that I can think of in history that people are able to come up with a story, and they’re able to go, how long should this be? Should this be six hours? Should this be seven hours? Should this be 11 hours? And Netflix is very good at not dictating how many episodes it should be. Source: https://moviepilot.com/posts/4035072
  6. 6. Budget • It’s unclear how much the first episode cost, but we know (according to Duffer Brothers) that the show had a low budget. • Profit: Unknown. Because Netflix is paid via a subscription rather than per program there are no figures available yet. However, it is clear that it has been hugely successful.
  7. 7. The cast Most of the cast are largely unknown with the exception of two star names: Winona Ryder Matthew Modine The Dark Knight Rises Transporter 2 Full Metal Jacket Beetlejuice Heathers Edward Scissor Hands Alien Resurrection Star Trek
  8. 8. Think of as many different audience groups as you can who might enjoy Stranger Things Apply audience concepts: • Primary/secondary • Demographics • Socio-economics • Uses and Gratifications etc What aspects or elements of the series might be appealing to each audience group you identify?
  9. 9. Marketing The marketing of the series used a variety of methods to create visibility & word of mouth Methods mixed above-the-line and below-the- line techniques Targeted a range of potential audiences
  10. 10. Haunted Basement • A 4-hour live steam on the Twitch app • Twitch app is popular with gamers • The stream featured gamers playing games in the basement set of Stranger Things
  11. 11. Twitch survey • Netflix used Twitch to promote the smash hit Stranger Things by arranging for a group of Twitch influencers to stream from the 1980’s basement set of the show. • During a live broadcast, “our team of Influencers played various games . . . in our 80’s-themed basement set, Twitch chat voted on creepy things to befall our unwitting victims—flying books, flickering lights, doors that would creak open to reveal sinister, singing, dead-eyed dolls only to slam shut at random, ringing phones that would jump off their cradles when you tried to touch them, and more,” Twitch representatives said in a statement.
  12. 12. Youtube Cinematic trailer released on Youtube on 9th June 2016 The first 8 minutes of Chapter 1 were also released on Youtube on 14th July 2016 Also an interactive/virtual reality 360 degree video of the basement set on 4th August 2016 What are the advantages of using Youtube to host such content?
  13. 13. Google trends Click the image for detailed info
  14. 14. Social Media • The series has its own official Twitter, Facebook and Insta accounts • Features links to announcements, Q&A streams, interviews and other extra content • Often shares Fan Art, memes and gifs produced by prosumers in the fan community
  15. 15. Digital Technology • Social Media also enabled the fans to continue to immerse themselves in the series through hashtags: • #Justiceforbarb • #Weareallbarb • #Worldupsidedown
  16. 16. Millennials • The Millennial generation now represents a quarter of the U.S. population. This group also has an annual buying power of more than $200 billion, yet it's still one of the most challenging generations for marketers to figure out.
  17. 17. Nostalgia Marketing • There’s a lot that can be taken away from the wild success of Stranger Things and the nostalgic, or “throwback,” products and entertainment that have emerged over the past few years. • A study conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research discovered, people actually spend more money when they are feeling nostalgic. Because of this, there's been an increasingly popular trend among smart brands to engage in what is now called: 'nostalgia marketing'.
  18. 18. • Stranger Things lays the nostalgia factor on thick with 80s fashion and hairstyles, and harkens memories of a time when kids actually went outside and rode bikes. • The title sequence of Stranger Things captivated us because it was captured in the same fashion as titles from the 80s used to be captured. The font choice is also distinctly 80s and shows how much attention was paid to making the show feel authentic. • But yet, despite these nostalgic, familiar feelings, the series still feels original - which is why so many of us couldn’t stop watching.
  19. 19. • The series revived a plethora of nostalgic memories, especially of 80s movies such as E.T. and Goonies, but with fantastically fresh storytelling that instantly captivated millions of viewers and turned the series into an overnight cult classic.
  20. 20. Intertextual references to create a sense of nostalgia Click the image
  21. 21. Spielberg – ET was a huge influence and the Duffer Brothers originally wanted to set the film by the coast as a way to make reference to Jaws – but the budget didn’t allow this. Stephen King - Eleven has been compared to Carrie and the font in the show’s titles clearly reflect a homage to the King of Horror
  22. 22. Nightmare on Elm Street
  23. 23. The Goonies
  24. 24. Firestarter A girl with telekinetic power and who is also experimented on
  25. 25. Stand By Me / The Body Both these 80s films include the scene where the group of friends are walking along a train line whilst searching for a friend.
  26. 26. Fandom and Stranger Things • The series has a strong online fan base • Fans often create negotiated readings of the text • Fans as textual poachers – selecting part of the text that appeal to them, and using these as the basis of their ‘we-media’ products (prosumers) • Fans essential in the marketing/promotional process – their fan art etc shared by the Stranger Things official social media accounts.
  27. 27. After the show's release.... • Important to keep audience interest • Viral news report - released online in November 2016 • Awards ceremony marketing stunts/promotional appearances • Fan interpreted videos
  28. 28. Merchandise • Stranger Things Pop Dolls
  29. 29. Netflix + Merchandise • Thanks to hordes of crazed "Stranger Things" fans, Netflix is testing the idea of merchandise for the retro sci-fi hit, a break from typical practice. • Merchandise is a cash cow for media companies like Disney, but it has never been part of the Netflix business. • "Stranger Things" is unique for Netflix because the title is free of any outside ownership complications, making merch simpler. https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/netflix-stranger-things-merchandise-eleven-tshirt-ted-sarandos/
  30. 30. Synergy • Eleven’s favourite food are Eggo waffles. • Kellogg’s Eggo was not product placement in the first series. • However, Eggo sales have increase dramatically, and as such Kellogg’s have jumped on the 80s band wagon, by including one of their 80s adverts in the teaser trailer for Season 2. This was launched at the NFL Superbowl.
  31. 31. Eggo was quick to capitalise on the internet’s love of “Stranger Things” so made sure they included Eleven in its National Waffle Day celebration.
  32. 32. Season 2 • Release date 31st October 2017

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