"You gotta get it to get it"

Research showed the streaming entertainment category is growing, but more and more Canadians saw a separation between Canadian Netflix and Netflix in the United States. And those that didn't have the service struggled to recognize Netflix as an essential entertainment service.

DDB noticed a unique cultural event happening among Canada's water coolers and social spaces: whenever someone talked about something they saw on Netflix, they were careful not to give away the plot – they didn't want to spoil it for non-Netflix users.

In short, Netflix users want to talk about the shows on Netflix. And they want their friends to have Netflix too, so they can talk about it together. So the agency's strategy was to tap into the collective fear of missing out. To get the obsession of Netflix subscribers, the pop culture references, the original content, and most importantly, to get the conversation, you need to get Netflix.

The agency developed a TV commercial that focused on the strong emotional connection people have with shows on Netflix so that those who aren't subscribers could see the value in it. The commercial "Pep Talk" featured a coach rallying his down-and-out hockey players with a rousing locker-room speech that referenced a pep-talk he saw on Netflix.

The commercial launched while Team Canada was drafting its Olympic hockey team, the World Junior Hockey Championships were under way and the NHL season was in full swing. The agency extended the buy and ran the commercial nationally in the U.S. during the NHL Playoffs.

On June 11, 2013, the spot leaped from being a commercial to a cultural reference when the New York Ranger's coach, Alain Vigneault, told reporters following his team's third straight loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, "I've been practicing my Netflix coach imitation…you know the guy from the commercial."

This sound-byte was picked up by Sports Illustrated and aired twice on CBC's Hockey Night In Canada (they played the entire commercial both times). On NBC, coach Vigneault was interviewed, citing the Netflix commercial as the push his players needed to win.

The agency's PR team promoted the coach's presence at a game to the media, and within an hour of arriving in LA, he was whisked into a three-minute interview on the NHL Network's pre-game show to talk about Netflix.

Netflix's presence during Game 4 saw a reach of roughly 6.1 million, while Game 5's interview reached six million. In addition, "Pep Talk" won a Bronze Lion in the Film Craft category at Cannes.