General Motors, Netflix team for strategic alliance around EVs

    • General Motors (GM) and Netflix have come together for a strategic alliance around electric vehicles (EVs), according to press materials shared with Marketing Dive. For the deal, Netflix will increase the presence of EVs in shows and films it produces and will take steps to ensure more sustainable productions. 
    • Also part of the deal, the brands will run a 60-second ad, “EVs On Screen,” during the second quarter of the Super Bowl that features Will Ferrell added to Netflix releases including “Army of the Dead” and “Squid Game.” 
    • The partnership comes as both companies look to revamp their marketing playbooks, with GM pivoting to EVs and Netflix looking for new ways to partner with brands as the streaming landscape evolves.

    The partnership between GM and Netflix around EVs comes as both companies look to “rewrite the marketing playbook,” GM’s global CMO Deborah Wahl explained during a press briefing around the announcement. The automaker kicked off its shift towards an all-electric future in 2021 with the launch of its “Everybody In” platform, while Netflix has had to evolve its offerings for consumers and brands as the streaming-first model it pioneered has become industry standard. 

    Both brands stressed that the partnership goes beyond mere product placement, although that is part of the deal. Over the next year, “Love is Blind,” “Queer Eye” and “Unstable” will feature the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, GMC Hummer EV Pickup and Cadillac LYRIQ, respectively. The inclusion of GM’s vehicles in some of Netflix’s biggest hits could help engage consumers around culture and educate them about EVs. In addition, Netflix will work to have more sustainable productions by optimizing energy use, including a push around decarbonization. 

    While neither GM nor Netflix would release details about the financial arrangements of the deal, Netflix CMO Marian Lee clarified that GM is “not paying to put their vehicles on Netflix shows.” Both executives made it clear that Netflix’s showrunners and filmmakers will have creative control over how to incorporate EVs into their productions.

    Wahl also said that any efforts around Netflix’s ad-supported tier — which it launched in November — would be “completely separate” from the partnership around EVs. On an earnings call this month, Netflix executives said they are pleased with early progress on its ad-supported tier, with hopes that advertising could eventually represent at least 10% of annual revenue.

    To promote the partnership, the brands will come together in a 60-second Super Bowl spot that sees Will Ferrell and GM’s EVs drop into Netflix hits including “Bridgerton,” “Stranger Things,” “Squid Games” and “Army of the Dead.” GM produced the spot alongside Netflix and The Community, and two teasers have been released in advance of the big game. In other partnership news, Netflix will also appear in a Michelob Ultra Super Bowl ad that promotes its “Full Swing” series.


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