How Netflix Used Social Video to Get You Hooked on ‘Queer Eye’

By Carla Marshall · June 15, 2018

How Netflix Used Social Video to Get You Hooked on ‘Queer Eye’

When the original ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy‘ made its debut on Bravo in 2003, YouTube was still two years away from being founded, and promotion around the event was primarily via print media, billboard ads, and talk show appearances. Fast forward to the ‘Queer Eye’ reboot of 2018, and millions of social video views have contributed to the success of the new show as fans lap up any news and views they can get about the modern day Fab Five.

Netflix announced in January 2018 that it had picked up the show and a brand new cast and released the first trailer on the 17th of that month. Our first introduction to Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, and Tan France generated 279K YouTube Views in the first 30 days after upload. The actual series landed on Netflix on the 7th February, and the season one trailer continues to attract around 2,000 views per day for the entertainment company.

Season two is available on Netflix from today, and to date, official trailer and promotional content around both seasons of this extraordinarily positive show has generated 3M YouTube views, and 19M Facebook Video views for Netflix. But that’s only half the story.

Netflix: The Power of Promotional Video

Since January 2018, Netflix has uploaded 92 videos around ‘Queer Eye’ to its official YouTube channels, and 25 videos to its official Facebook properties. On Facebook, Netflix promoted the official trailers but also published highly entertaining short snackable content featuring the cast, along with snippets from various episodes. Its most successful upload on the platform is this 1:11 clip which breaks down the raw emotional appeal of the show, and gives you every reason to want to watch it. Sure, it’s corny as hell but it tells a story from the participant’s point of view, not from the perspective of the cast or the production company – and that’s the magic that pulls the viewer in.

If you had never watched the show, this gives you a taste of what to expect, and if you watched every episode, you’ll sit through this entire trailer just to capture those precious moments again. Netflix absolutely knows that it’s a rare viewer who can sit through ‘Queer Eye’ and not shed a tear, and it really wants to celebrate that with you. It needs you to be emotionally invested so you’ll subscribe and watch, and tell your friends and family and share your thoughts and feelings about the show to your own social networks. To date, this uplifting video has generated 6M views (500K in its first 3 days), and 40K likes, shares, and comments.

On YouTube, the debut trailer for season one – see above – has generated the most views for Netflix (752K at time of writing), with the second most viewed this wonderful meeting between the new cast and the original cast generating 567K views

‘Queer Eye’: The Influencer Effect

Netflix is investing around $8B in unique content in 2018, and is driving up its subscriber base with must-see shows like ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Orange is the New Black, and ‘Arrested Development’. You could argue that resurrecting a much loved make-over series like ‘Queer Eye’ is a no brainer for the company, but perhaps the streaming giant’s greatest stroke-of-genius was pulling together five incredibly articulate, relatable and media savvy presenters who are as comfortable on social media as they are in front of the camera.

The new Fab Five all have their own specialist areas of expertise – food, design, grooming, culture, and fashion – and as word of mouth spread about the show, each of the personalities developed their own fan bases. Publishers, entertainment channels, broadcasters and online influencers grabbed the opportunity to feature one, or all, of the five which spread the word even further.

Since January 2018, there has been 7.8M extra views generated by media and entertainment publishers around ‘Queer Eye’ on Facebook, and 3.2M extra views on YouTube. Content around the show is being created by companies like BuzzFeed, Mashable and SNL, and while many appearances are almost certainly part of a wider promotional campaign by the show, there’s little doubt that the new cast play their part very well as genuine evangelists for the series.

Using exclusive Tubular data, we broke down the views generated from content around each of the Fab Five to confirm how it has performed online. Since January 2018, uploads featuring the name of the presenters in the title have generated the following:

  • Tan France: 961K Facebook Views, 52K YouTube Views
  • Karamo Brown: 820K Facebook Views, 52K YouTube Views
  • Jonathan Van Ness: 790K Facebook Views, 53K YouTube Views
  • Antoni Porowski: 87K Facebook Views, 44K YouTube Views
  • Bobby Berk: 87K Facebook Views, 12K YouTube Views

Jonathan Van Ness, arguably the breakout star of the show, is not only an expert social media star, he also has his own podcast which he promotes extensively across his networks. Although all of the cast are incredibly approachable, Jonathan’s honesty, enthusiasm for life, and his celebration of the LBGTQ community has elevated his visibility online. Publishers know that he’s a hugely charismatic figure but also a safe pair of hands, and a solid bet to create content around. His most viewed Facebook video upload was for Elle in April 2018, where he critiques his co-stars in the most gloriously uplifting way. It generated 90K Facebook views in the first 3 days of being published.

Season two of ‘Queer Eye’ lands on Netflix on Friday 15th June 2018.

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