‘Netflix Is a Joke’ Billboards Appear in New York, Los Angeles

Netflix Is a Joke
Twitter/Claudia Eller

Plain white billboards declaring that “Netflix is a joke” appeared in New York and Los Angeles Tuesday. The signage is part of a new marketing campaign from the streaming service, Variety has learned — though to what end is unclear.

Netflix representatives declined to comment on the billboards Tuesday.

Social media users in New York and Los Angeles posted photographs on Tuesday of the billboards, which appeared that morning. The billboards were spotted in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York, over the Arco gas station at Olympic and Robertson in Los Angeles, and in other locations.

The Netflix campaign is expected to expand in the weeks ahead, with spots featuring comics such as Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle as well as other Netflix talent, promoting upcoming stand-up specials.

Netflix last month launched a new Instagram account devoted to its comedy programming. The account currently has nine posts, all promoting stand-up comic Seinfeld’s forthcoming stand-up special “Jerry Before Seinfeld,” which premieres Sept. 19 on the streaming service. Netflix has moved aggressively into stand-up comedy, a genre previously dominated by HBO, signing deals in the $11 million-$20 million per special range with comedians such as Seinfeld, Rock, Chappelle, and Amy Schumer.

Last month, Schumer acknowledged via social media that she had asked for and received additional money from Netflix for her upcoming stand-up special after learning that Rock and Chappelle were each making $20 million per special.

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  1. Zuckerberg is offering me 50 million for cool commercials as long as,Tina approved my homework

  2. Unimportant Commenter says:

    Definitely a bit for the Letterman show.

  3. What kind of an idiot would put free publicity up for a rival? Cause lets face it. people don’t go through the effort of doing something like this unless you are doing something right. And NETFLIX is easily transforming the marketplace. they are far from the irrelevant service they were when all they use to do was send DVD’s in the mail. they are all powerful now.

    i could care less if they are a catchphrase. their quality is top notch and i shall watch that until such time that they drop the ball. Well done NETFLIX. Just keep doing what you are doing. Let the haters waster all of their money on promoting you. this is good business

  4. Geri H. says:

    I absolutely love Netflix originals, i.e., Frankie and Grace, Longmire, the list goes on. Can’t wait to see the comedy aspect. @Netflix #lovetowatch

  5. PJ says:

    They took off Bob’s burgers . Like , seriously? Booooooo

  6. Lex says:

    Maybe it’s a business thing. Netflix can’t pump all that money into something and get a needed return on their investments and neither can the people who invest in it. Just glancing on what they spend, it doesn’t seem cost effective. The billboard does look like something from They Live, doesn’t it.

  7. Tammy says:

    I being watch Netflix for three or fours years now n never have a problem with them n I live in Canada so don’t know why u saying it is a joke cuz it is not a joke I think u r buddy

    • Who are you even talking to, Tammy? Aside from your post being nearly undecipherable, you don’t seem to realize that the “Netflix is a joke” campaign is made by Netflix themselves. And who has a problem watching Netflix? You don’t make sense.

  8. Naomi Whisman says:

    I agree.How about some decent family movies?And may I add.Why the hell did you cancel Longmire.Not enough filthy talk and sex for you to continue?You missed the boat Netflex.

  9. Chris says:

    (chuckles) Sounds like Variety is looking for their 15 minutes of fame.

  10. Holly Wood says:

    At a cost of practically nothing, Netflix just aimed a marketing shotgun into a huge barrel and unloaded it on millions of fish. Brilliant.

    • Lynda Metz says:

      Yes!! Brilliant! It’s an advertisement for their new comedy specials designed to “create controversy” and prompt discussion. Way to think outside the box Netflix!

  11. Brendalajones says:

    *puts on Rowdy Roddy Piper sunglasses*
    #TheyLive

  12. Rezerlius says:

    This is a bit strange but I find it hilarious because it’s like as if Netflix is trying to state that Netflix is a joke because it has crappy content which I find it very false because they have so many awesome content like for example Marvel’s Daredevil the Defenders Jessica Jones Luke Cage Iron Fist Adam Sandler The Ranch do over I hardly ever watch cable anymore cable watching is old news streaming services are becoming popular everyday because it’s very convenient and you can watch anywhere from any mobile device unlike cable they don’t most of them does have an app to allow you to watch on the go like Verizon but Optimum sucks balls in that area they need to get their shit together but overall I love Netflix they have so many awesome exclusive content and I only pay $25 per month it’s better than paying $300 a month on cable 😑

    • Really, dude? It’s marketing. The “Netflix is a joke” deal isn’t referring to anything specific, it’s to get attention. And you need to use punctuation and sentences! It’s almost unreadable when you post a huge string of text. By the way, you don’t need to create a long list of shows on Netflix – they have a lot, we all know this. It’s pointless to try and start naming them off.

  13. Yvonne says:

    It’s looks like they are doing advertisement like “I hate Steven singer” ads :)

  14. Toni says:

    Amy Schumer is not funny!! Stop promoting her comedy it sucks!!

  15. Andrew Braden says:

    Variety made the billboards and published the article, yet to what ends are not known. Lmao.

  16. Linda sanchez says:

    We” cut “our cable, now only have Netflix. We like it, and it’s was way better then the 235$ per month we were paying for Spectrum!!!

  17. sgtjmack says:

    Looks like a major ad to get people talking about the company. Nothing new here.

  18. Alex Rowe says:

    How can you even put Amy Joke stealer on the same page as Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle? No it’s not about the patriarchy, it’s about talent. Not theft and disgusting bigotry.

  19. Glenn says:

    So your article is “Netflix is doing a thing. We don’t have any details or know exactly what the thing is, but here’s a bunch of ads.”

    • Misha Lauenstein says:

      Don’t forget, “Netflix representatives refused to give away the punchline several weeks early, thus destroying their own campaign.”

  20. john says:

    Cancelled my Netflix when I realized I paid $190 and barely watched the crap they put on.

    • Bob says:

      John that’s not netflix. at 200 dollars it looks like you’ve subscribed to brazzers.

    • Toni says:

      I like to type actors/actress names and search that way! Why you paying almost $200. I pay less than 20

    • Dave says:

      So now you pay $181?

    • Nailzz says:

      I get what you’re saying. Netflix does have a very weird way of displaying what they have. They don’t have a traditional guide but some suggestions in each category even though their catalog is so much bigger.
      So sometimes you don’t even know what you’re looking for when you go on Netflix but you know you don’t want to see any of their suggestions. So how do you find good stuff to watch? Well you have to go online and maybe look at some top 100 lists for Netflix movies, dramas, TV shows etc. They make it much harder to navigate than it has to be. They don’t even have a coming soon category or an option to sort by genre, year or release date. Even the mom and pop movie Hack sites have that.

      • ModernMan99 says:

        As far as finding movies on Netflix, there is an awesome website that shows the movies scores on Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, Metacritic, the “audience,” and an overall score based on those. You can search via title or browse via genre, etc. and the best thing is it tells you whether each movie is currently available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or just Amazon Video(which you have to Buy/rent the movie) or DVD. I have found this website very helpful and interesting since I discovered it on Reddit. I don’t know of one for TV shows yet, but I’m sure someone is working on it if it’s not already out there. Thought you might like this info!

        Also, I agree with the brilliance of the minimal investment and huge exposure from literally a handful of billboards (which who really thought billboards could be used so effextively for advertising on a mass scale?) obviously they intended for it to really be a social media advertisement more, and boy did it work! Netflix is so amazing.

    • Fred VonFirstenberg says:

      $190?

    • Alfonso says:

      You couldn’t find anything to watch on Netflix? It’s all crap? I bet you’re a real peach to be around.

  21. Ramzi says:

    There is talk of a Comedy/Stand-up streaming service, or a stand alone channel in the vein of Comedy Central.

  22. John says:

    Wow, interesting campaign….they fooled me into thinking it was some kind of anti-Netflix protest, maybe payed for by Chris Nolan ;-)

  23. Dave says:

    Bob goes to antifa rallies wearing a shirt that says, “this is what a feminist looks like”. He only does it cause he cant get laid and figures that will help.

  24. Bob says:

    What’s even more amazing is you managed to type that shit while holding a tiki torch and shoving your head completely up your own ass. Grats.

  25. Fred VonFirstenberg says:

    Amy who?

  26. Jwaseca says:

    Looks like your name is apt! ;-)

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