Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

Orange Is the New Black promotes new season via Tinder-like ads

Netflix series Orange Is the New Black is drumming up excitement for its recently released fourth season by leveraging Facebook ads that employ a dating application-like format, enabling users to toggle through lead characters? profiles to find a potential love match.

The popular program is targeting one of its core audiences, millennials, through this new ad format, which expands into a full-screen mobile experience mimicking the interface of dating apps such as Tinder. Orange Is the New Black fans ? as well as curious newbies ? can take advantage of the fictitious InMate app to browse the profiles of Litchfield Penitentiary?s residents and select their favorite to complete a match.

?Facebook is always offering new tools for marketers to reach their audience,? said Ionut Ciobotaru, co-founder and managing director of PubNative. ?Obviously, the ad format plays a huge role in engaging with the brand audience. Facebook started with native ads, continued with video and carousel ads, and recently expanded into interactive ads.

?By tapping into the familiarity of the Tinder app on the full screen, Orange Is the New Black is addressing a certain category of users,? he said. ?At the same time, full-screen formats have always proven to be more effective on mobile.?

Interactive is the new banner ad
Whereas television programs rolled out stationary mobile ad units in the past ? such as banner ads that popped up on a mobile site ? the focus is now on tapping interactive units that promote one-to-one engagement.

Consumers who spot Orange Is the New Black?s ad within their Facebook news feeds will be prompted to ?Find your soulmate on InMate, Litchfield Penitentiary?s premiere dating app.? This serves as a nod to the show?s primary setting.

Before users click on the ad to expand it into full-screen mode, it reminds them that Orange Is the New Black?s fourth season is now streaming on Netflix.

The full-screen experience kicks off with a photo of lead character Alex Vause in her prison jumpsuit, and invites individuals to swipe up to start browsing. They can then toggle through five different faux dating profiles for Alex Vause, Piper Chapman, Flaca Gonzales, Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren and Poussey Washington.

The profiles mimic those seen on Tinder and other dating apps, and include basic information such as the character?s name, amount of time spent in prison, and occupation at Litchfield.

Once individuals have narrowed in on their favorite character, they may swipe up to choose that person. That action will prompt the fictitious app to declare, ?Boom! You?re a match,? before showing a ten-second teaser of the new season.

Users can also browse various stills from the new season.

The last part of the ad experience flashes the Netflix logo and informs individuals that season four is available to stream now.

?If you think about the smaller size of a mobile device, then any chance you have to present a full-screen ad to a user is the best chance you have to capture their attention and really get your message across, as other ad formats can be easily overlooked,? said Galia Reichenstein, chief operating officer and head of sales at Taptica. ?The Orange Is the New Black ads are very effective due to the fact that they are native.

?This type of ad also feels very natural and intuitive on Facebook because it prompts actions that users normally take in this social environment ? swiping, liking, etc.?

Unchaining memorable experiences
Consumers are much more likely to retain information from mobile advertisements if the units contain a degree of interactivity. In Orange Is the New Black?s case, the ad takes on the form of a well-known mobile experience ? using a dating app ? and employs a memorable twist.

?The main reason why the current ad landscape is struggling so much is that users are so oversaturated with advertising that an ordinary ad campaign won't create any significant engagement or excitement,? said Dmitry Atamanyuk, CEO of ClickDealer. ?That is why marketers come up with new concepts and ideas to attract customers, and new formats like this one are the best examples.

?Interactive ad formats show better engagement metrics, and the value an advertiser gets from an engaged user is way higher than any simple banner could give you.?

Fans who may not be aware of the fourth season?s availability on Netflix will likely appreciate the reminder to tune in, while consumers who have never seen the series may become inspired to binge watch it from the first season.

Television programs have become increasingly reliant on mobile for promotional purposes, especially as the window of interactive ad units and available app collaborations grows wider.

HBO?s Game of Thrones built fan excitement ahead of its season six premiere by inviting Facebook users to explore the fictional world of Westeros by using their finger to swivel around a 360-degree video featuring the program?s opening credits (see story).

Last fall, Bravo allowed Shazam users a sneak peek of its latest docu-series after using the music listening app during the show's trailer, exhibiting the continual merge of television and mobile and ensuring a more resonating promotional experience (see story).

Ultimately, Orange Is the New Black?s leverage of sponsored Facebook Canvas ads will likely pay off when it comes to garnering the right consumer engagement.

?This is a new kind of format for the Facebook user base, and in my experience, new formats tend to drive higher performance due to the novelty effect,? said Eric Franchi, co-founder of Undertone. ?Additionally, there's research that demonstrates that larger, interactive ads are solidly better for driving brand performance.?