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Netflix launched its second African Original Series, Blood & Water, in May 2020 – a significant milestone for the brand in cementing its commitment and investment in Africa.

We were tasked with successfully launching the first season of Blood & Water with the main objective of getting the series to resonate with both local and international markets, and create stars from the relatively unknown cast and director.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional campaign strategies were no longer relevant and we had to reassess the campaign strategy and execution. Despite the global lockdown, Netflix opted to proceed with the launch and wanted the team to pivot to meet the deadlines, achieving the same goals and KPIs.

With all national travel on hold and no open venues to host media junkets or public spaces to facilitate the B2C engagement ideas, billboards rendered obsolete and no chance of a glittering red-carpet style premiere, the strategy had to change dramatically mere weeks before the campaign go-live date.

This meant innovation was key to ensuring the success of the campaign.


As a result of the global lockdown, consumers were spending more time online and social media platforms with influencer engagement at an all-time high. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram saw an increase of more than 70% spent on the apps and influencers saw an increase of 76% in likes on sponsored Instagram posts.

Therefore, the solution was to create an entirely digital campaign that chased the same objectives, eliciting the same emotional connection to Blood & Water from consumers as a face-to-face engagement would have..

We successfully and naturally incorporated South African music and artists into the launch which resonated with our key youth audiences.


We adopted the following digital tactics to achieve our goals:

  • Pre-approved content ensured that posting was consistent, improving the algorithms.
  • We rallied our influencers, cast and fan clubs to interact with Netflix’s branded content, and supplied them with bespoke content , which created a mass volume of social posts.
  • The first episode was aired on YouTube (a controversial Netflix first) raising media interest and attracting potential viewers. This also contributed to the consistent and ongoing conversation.
  • We engaged celebrity influencers and cast to co-create content, adding gravitas and instant shareability.
  • The cast members had their own social stickers, gifs and memes created so fans and casts were able to share this moment online.
  • The social community management was consistent with immediate fan updates, responses and access to upcoming content encouraging talkability and sharing.


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Pieces of earned media coverage

#1 trending topic on Twitter

#1 trending topic on YouTube

#1 trending show on Netflix

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