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Hot on a tail of both Spotify and Netflix catching mixed reactions to their hyper-personal billboards and tweets—which called out things like how many times individual customers had streamed The Christmas Prince—Netflix seems to have doubled down.
Netflix released a video Monday of one customer and his long-term girlfriend—who just happens to love the show Santa Clarita Diet—getting engaged with some help from the show’s stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant. The twist? The girlfriend has no idea she’s in a commercial. She apparently signed a waiver thinking she was going to be on some sort of reality show about Netflix users.
So while the clip—which has been RTed over 8,900 times—feels heartfelt and fun like a hidden camera YouTube video might, there’s that added element of: Surprise! You’ve been in an advertisement this whole time! And now your precious life milestone is going to be tweeted out to millions of people in order to sell a California zombie show!
He wanted to propose using Netflix. So we called in a few friends. pic.twitter.com/LvkVIeymfd— Netflix US (@netflix) December 18, 2017
The couple seems happy with the experience overall, which is probably all that matters at the end of the day, but the three-minute clip is the latest example of some daring new line-erasing between advertising and real life from a streaming corporation.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.