When I first saw this story, I got all excited to write about some good old-fashioned anti-advertising, as a kind of tonic to the deluge of marketing and ads that saturates modern life. But, as it turns out, the new “NETFLIX IS A JOKE” billboards that have been spotted in New York and Los Angeles are probably just sneaky viral advertising by Netflix itself. Oh well.
What is the meaning of “NETFLIX IS A JOKE”? At first, it was speculated that some Netflix-hating entity (Amazon or Hulu? An old video store warrior?) paid for the billboards, and Netflix’s official Twitter account did that classic practical joker thing and pretended to be as surprised by it as anyone else:
— Netflix (@netflix) September 6, 2017
However, recent reports have come out that it was Netflix itself that wanted the world to know “NETFLIX IS A JOKE.” It’s likely an attempt to get the word out on Netflix’s increasingly stellar comedy lineup, including new specials from Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld. So there you have it – maybe some cool vandalism will come out of this, at least.