It’s been wryly observed that people are tuning in more to comedy shows for news. Well, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is a great example and this segment on “Sponsored Content” is especially pertinent for us communications and media professionals (Video NSFW – language).
Let’s call Sponsored Content what it truly is: monetizing one’s integrity and credibility. It especially becomes a problem when it is deceptive, pervasive and wantonly permissive.
In the words of John Oliver:
“The integrity of local news is crucially important, and there is real harm for everyone if that integrity is damaged.”
I was really proud of the team for successfully carrying out our Rumah Netflix (or, Netflix House, in Bahasa Indonesia) in Jakarta yesterday! The experiential event was designed to build brand and product awareness among local media, policy stakeholders, telco and content partners, as well as social media influencers. It was a showcase of our product and service innovations told through the lens of our content offering in an emerging country like Indonesia.
We were also graced with the presence of Iko Wais, one of Indonesia’s top actors, who stars and stunt-coordinates our latest show, Wu Assassins.
Working cross-functionally, I set out to amplify how Netflix is a platform where the treasure trove of stories from Southeast Asia transcend boundaries and are shared with the world in diverse languages and genres. I was keen to highlight Netflix’s ambition in the region and how it is charting new territories by putting the spotlight on talented regional filmmakers and bringing them beyond their home countries.
The story landed very well, and I’m particularly thrilled at the ringing endorsements that came from our creator partners:
“Southeast Asia not only offers new frontiers for streamers in terms of creators and content but providers such as Netflix, which was launched across the region in 2015, are still only really taking root across the region. The idea of giving Thai content expansive global distribution through Netflix really excites me. It opens up many new possibilities in terms of the stories that we want to tell the world and also the kind of genres which we may have not had the opportunities to do either because of budget constraints or local market demands.”
Ekachai Uekrongtham, executive producer at Grammy, Thailand, as well as head of Bravo! Studios, GMM Studios International
The impact of this story went further as well, especially when it was syndicated to other key markets across Asia.
Recently, I was invited to be a panelist to discuss Building Reputation: Trust Deficit in the World of Fake News.
the notes I prepared for myself (with some elaboration, specifically for this
The marketplace of reputation
is built on the currency
Reputation provides the
shorthand of trust – and becomes the lens by which we view the
When I joined Uber, we started with a trust deficit that cost us goodwill and the benefit of the doubt. For example: The #DeleteUber social backlash following the taxi strike in New York City. Uber sent out a tweet announcing its decision to suspend dynamic pricing after a taxi strike at JFK airport in protest of President Trump’s immigration ban. Uber was accused of trying to break the strike, leading to a #DeleteUber social backlash. However, the tweet was actually sent out over 30 minutes after the strike ended. Still, it fit the narrative of “bad boy Uber,” didn’t it?
Netflix is a brand that is almost universally liked by its users. We have thousands of shows but you probably love it because the specific shows that you love. You probably forgive us for the thousands of other shows that you don’t.
communication doesn’t occur in a vacuum – this is where the of the media
becomes vital. However, there is much to be discussed regarding the role of
media as The Fourth Estate. Which leads
Point 2: Fake news is possible
because it is possible to distrust the media.
that vacuum, bad actors fill the void with misinformation.
plays a key role and it’s why I have a keen interest in the survivability of
the media industry. My concern is that with increasing overheads and budgetary
pressures, some are veering very close to pay to play models.
So what are we doing about this?
Building & Safeguarding our reputation and building trust has become far more important amidst the noise and fake news.
We are also exploring models of becoming our own media channels – owned channels (I.e. newsrooms).
Right now, I’m feeling very grateful and humbled to be part of the team entrusted by the amazing kids and Coach, the government, as well as the people of Thailand with a national treasure: the incredible story of the Tham Luang cave rescue.
Earlier today, Netflix announced we are joining forces with SK Global Entertainment (of “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Delhi Crime” fame), Jon M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”), and Nattawut “Baz” Poonpiriya (“Bad Genius”) to bring the dramatic story of the 2018 Thai soccer team rescue to audiences around the world.
The story combines so many unique local and universal themes which connected people from all walks of life, from all around the world. Thailand is a very important country for Netflix and we are looking forward to bringing this inspiring local, but globally-resonant story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to life, once again, for global audiences.
On a more lighthearted note, there picture above depicts Netflix and SK Global team members – all of whom obediently adhered to the dress code, to wear something yellow in view of the Thai King’s upcoming coronation. Let’s just say that we look calm and dignified here, but there was much hustle over the weekend looking for yellow-colored ties!