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Spark serves up a Netflix inspired feast

From jelly beans, McDonald’s and ‘cheeseburger pizzas’, the eating habits of US presidents have always been a source of mystery and intrigue. Now, thanks to Colenso BBDO, Spark is giving customers the chance to eat like a president—President Frank Underwood from hit show House of Cards, that is—to promote the telco’s latest partnership with Netflix. 

Last week, Spark put out the call on Facebook for its customers to name who they’d like to share a Netflix dinner with, and selected entrants were sent a dinner box with a House of Cards theme.

In the hit drama, Freddy’s BBQ ribs have become an iconic meal, and Spark wanted its customers to eat their own version while they watched the show.

Made by My Food Bag, the dinner box contains everything you need to eat like President Underwood: a full rack of ribs, BBQ spice, BBQ sauce, ingredients for the greens and even the cornbread.

Spark’s general manager of customer and marketing, Clive Ormerod, says the dinner boxes were a way of making the popular series come alive for customers.

“We wanted to tell our customers about this awesome new partnership in a way that would resonate with the amazing experiences we know it will deliver for them as they’re drawn into the characters and stories of series like House of Cards. The dinner boxes bring this to life in a tangible, immersive way.”

And while Freddy’s meal is always plated up the same way in the show, some customers have been giving the recipe their own personal twist. 

Late last month, Spark announced its partnership with Netflix as “taking the next step in building its media strategy”. The partnership gives Spark broadband customers a subscription to Netflix’s standard plan for one year when they sign up to its 24-month Unlimited Data broadband plan.

This is the first time that Netflix has been bundled with broadband in New Zealand, and will sit alongside Spark’s current Lightbox offering.

At the time of launch, Jason Paris, CEO of Spark home mobile and business said: “In combination, these highly desirable content streaming services mean you get an incredible entertainment package bundled with your Spark broadband. By bringing Netflix and Lightbox under the same roof, we make it easier for our customers to access the content they want to watch, when they want to watch it.”

“We know that our customers love Netflix and Lightbox. We’ve just announced that Lightbox is now approaching 250k subscribers and we already see the popularity of Netflix in New Zealand – around a third of the data over our broadband network on an average evening is customers streaming Netflix and Lightbox.”

The move is part of Spark’s changing business model as it expands its platform beyond the function of a traditional telco.

“This partnership is a step on the road toward Spark becoming a go-to destination for media and entertainment,” sid Paris. “Our ambition is for Spark to become a preferred content provider for New Zealanders, delivering a range of potential content (from TV and video, to sport and so on) and a simple way to access the content that most interests them.”

The partnership was announced shortly after Vodafone’s proposed merger with Sky Television was declined by the Commerce Commission. The Commission said a merger would stifle competition, particularly when it comes to premium sports. 

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