Biz Tips: Why Bird Box Did So Well & How To Replicate Its Success

Biz Tips: Why Bird Box Did So Well & How To Replicate Its Success


Why Bird Box Did So Well & How To Replicate Its Success

As of the time I’m writing this article, over 45 million Netflix users have watched the Netflix Original Bird Box in the first seven days of its release! That number is staggering, but let’s quickly put it into perspective.

The National Association of Theatre Owners states that the average cinema ticket is around $9 in the US. Given this price, had Bird Box been a traditional movie releasing in theatres, and received the same viewership it would have made $405 million dollars in its first week! Making it the movie with highest seven day gross of all time, beating out Star Wars by a significant $15 million.

How did this happen?

The movie starred Sandra Bullock, and gained the title card release on Netflix’s home page during the holiday period, thus it was guaranteed to receive a significant amount of traction, however, no one anticipated it to be an all-time record-breaking film.

So how did a movie, in the more or less obscure genre of sci-fi thriller with a budget of only $18 million, manage to beat out every other movie ever made?

The answer?


I’m sure you’ve seen them. Bird Box memes, have flooded the internet to the extent where no one is safe. It’s near impossible to hop onto Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and not encounter a poorly photoshopped image of Sandra Bullock posing with the three of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or some other novelty pop culture icon.

The contrast of the serious, blindfolded Bullock, with the satirical meme culture, has created a storm of reposts and challenges. I challenge you to find a meme account on Instagram that doesn’t have at least one Bird Box related post.

This abundance of memes, means that for anyone who hadn’t seen the movie, a FOMO would develop (fear of missing out), and prompt them to quickly watch the movie to understand this latest social craze. This effect spirals on, people begin to retweet memes after watching the movie, giving other social media users a personal reason to watch the movie, and understand the context surrounding these memes.

Conspiracy theories were raised, concerning whether or not Netflix orchestrated this social media phenomenon and paid meme accounts and influencer to post Bird Box related memes, giving that initial push to what would become a snowball of virality. Netflix denied these claims, however, if they did they should have been cheered on as marketing geniuses.

How can you apply this?

Do on purpose, what happened to Bird Box accidentally. Create memes, challenges, controversy surrounding your product or brand, then use influencer marketing to start populating potential users’ media feeds with memes. Memes that are only understood after users use your product, watch your videos, etc. The success of Bird Box has shown that the marketing content surrounding your product, does not need to specifically apply to the context of your product, so build on the broader concepts related to your identity/product and then create relatable and comedic posts, and reach out to as many meme pages as you can. They are seriously cheap, I’ve found some that had 2 million + followers, willing to post for $50!!!

Happy growth hacking 🙂

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