Netflix Ad Opportunities

Danny Denhard
4 min readApr 23, 2022

There has been a lot made of Netflix’s Q1 2022 performance.

The conversation around ads has split so many people’s views on Netflix and we have heard numerous opinions about why subscribers would cancel their accounts in light of proposed changes.

When social media highlights previous ways of appreciating what customers did

It is important to make note that a Netflix's ad-supported tier (aka AVOD — advertising-based video on demand) would most likely be a new tier and would not force ads into their content for paying subscribers.

With so much choice in the SVOD, an AVOD option is going to allow more growth and more innovation.

So here is how advertising within Netflix makes sense and could add to customer and company experience.

Multi Screen

Leverage the multi-screen experience (TV + mobile) to serve ads and serve (top of funnel) awareness and buying opportunities (bottom of funnel).
This can be at logged in profile (not just account level) and this does not become another force a disconnected programmatic ad to the subscriber.

Smart Product Placement

Netflix has the ability to tie in product placement and “learn more” from a quick click, own the lean-back experience.
Netflix famously worked with Coca Cola in Stranger Things and tied in a retro campaign new coke. Product Placement can also be retrospectively fit, so new ads and products can be served in their own unique and original content, whereas other platforms wouldn't be able to consider this.

CTAs & QR Codes

Game download CTA: Similarly to product placement, Netflix could tie in download the mobile game (serving a dedicated QR code) at the end of the show or end of the season.

Netflix could also easily develop unique/gated QR codes that Snap currently offers.

Connecting Character & Ads

Unlike many others, Netflix has the ability to connect elements (character/actor) of shows to products (Joey from Friends with pizza) and turn this into unique ad opportunities. If you fancied pizza while watching Joey eat his extra-large NYC style pizza slice this could be tied in with partners at geo-layers.

3 Second Quick Ads

Ads can be served before content and after content — quick and snappy, not the disruptive 15–30 seconds ads like TV serves or ads slots on other older formats like radio etc.

Like podcasts, this ad format could be read by or introduced by the content talent.

Multi-platform Multi-device

Netflix already has accounts logged in across mobile phone, TV, gaming device, tablets and laptops, so many others can’t do this or understand this effectively - the opportunity here is huge and can serve specific ads to that device size.


Serve merch and limited drops sales from content (and serve in a timely manner, easily engineered). Netflix shop was a simple step forward, if this drove timely drops or limited edition merch, the ROI of the show and internal success metrics would be better understood and appreciated by Wall Street Investors.

Product Marketing — Marketing Product

Netflix has to leverage the 220m paying accounts (and the 1–5 profiles per account) to become a Product Marketing engine, not just a (content) show marketing engine, but reward the subscribers being the power behind the Marketing engine. Social and word of mouth powers Netflix far more than many realise and could be a new addition to the Netflix Product & Marketing engine.

As you can see many of these add value to the user experience and builds connection into the Netflix ecosystem, like Disney already has.

These could also be implemented by the likes of Disney and Amazon (with Prime Video) to beat out competitors.

It is important to call out, that any company investing $5billion per year in content will be needing to look at other options to build affinity and experiences with this content.

Any SVOD service or platform could offer AVOD + commerce to bring in more subscribers, drive more growth and offer a premium quality experience and service.

All in all, Netflix has a huge opportunity with offering a better experience for both customers who can and for those who struggle to afford the services due to increasing microeconomic factors. Netflix wins by putting the customer first and embracing a new world rather than seeing themselves as the industry leader when the space has evolved massively in just a year.



Danny Denhard

Fixing the broken world of work through Focus The Strategy + Culture Consultancy. Ex Marketing & Growth Leader. Ex Crowdfunding business leader.