Ad of the Day: Netflix Shows You the Consequences of Being the Worst Kind of Rat

Better keep your mouth shut

Headshot of Tim Nudd

You've seen this kind of torture scene before. A man sits bound to a chair, preparing to feel unimaginable pain after crossing a line with his tough-guy boss. He seems to have leaked some sensitive information—or even informed on the guy. Whatever his particular transgressions, he's about to see what it's like to be shoved into a pit of rats while doused in honey.

That's the setup of this new Netflix ad from TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles. And it's one of those spots that's better to enjoy spoiler-free, before someone, like a dirty rat, tells you the ending. Check it out here first:

The mini-film is nicely done—cinematic (befitting a service that streams movies and top-quality TV shows), amusingly silly and based off an insight which, at first blush, might not seem like a positive one for Netflix. The spot essentially urges people not to talk about Netflix shows—or at least, not until they've asked the person which season and episode (the "S.E.") they're on.

That's a bit of a peculiar request. You'd think Netflix would sidestep focusing on the noncommunal aspect of its watching experience. Instead, it embraces it. And it does so because it's rich creative territory—there's conflict and drama (on a small scale) in trying not to have your favorite show spoiled if you're not totally caught up. This spot takes that notion to a comical extreme, with just the right amount of goofiness—turning what could be seen as a product liability into something entertainingly relatable.

There's also the interactive bit at the end, which is also seamless and pretty smart. Netflix, after all, is about empowering its users to make their own scheduling decisions. Thus, having them decide the outcome of an ad is a small but notable extension of the brand, too.


Client: Netflix

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day

Fabio Costa: Executive Creative Director

Matthew Woodhams-Roberts, Dave Horton: Creative Directors

Peter Bassett: Director of Production

Stephanie Dziczek: Senior Producer

Kristin McCarron: Digital Producer

Peter Ravailhe: Managing Director

Tyra Hillsten: Brand Leader

Sarah Lamberson: Brand Director

Steve Smith: Associate Brand Manager

Rohit Thawani: Director of Digital and Social Strategy

Gary Klugman: Planning Director

Emilie Arrive: Senior Digital Strategist

Lauren Maddox: Digital Strategist

Mimi Hirsch: Senior Business Affairs Manager 

Anders Svensson: Design Director

Robbie Reynolds: Designer

John Byrne: Tech Manager

Armen Kesablyan: Tech Lead

Lester Dizon, Alen Shen: User Experience Designers

Lester Broas: Quality Assurance Lead

Walter Velasquez: Quality Assurance Analyst

Production Company: Furlined

William Speck, Josh Gordon: Directors

Diane McArter: President

Robert Herman: Managing Director

David Thorne: Senior Executive Producer

Aris McGarry: Producer

Editorial: Cut + Run

Steve Gandolfi: Editor

Russell Anderson: Assistant Editor

Carr Schilling: Executive Producer

Remy Foxx: Producer

Visual Effects: Framestore

Dez (Derek) Macleod Veilleux: Executive Producer

Ben West: Creative Director, Visual Effects Supervisor

Andy McLintock: Senior Producer

J.D. Yepes: 2-D Lead

Mike Bain: 3-D Lead

Scott Boyajan: Commercials Producer

Telecine: Company 3

Dave Hussey: Senior Colorist

Sound Design: Stimmung

Gus Koven: Sound Design

Kristina Iwankiw: Producer

Ceinwyn Clark: Executive Producer

Mix: Eleven

Jeff Payne: Mixer

AJ Murillo: Assistant Mixer

Dawn Redmann: Producer

Suzanne Hollingshead: Executive Producer

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: November 18, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT