Inside Netflix’s viral ‘Wednesday’ marketing strategy

“We couldn’t have predicted that,” said Lee. “We knew the dance would be big, but those early signals obviously help our team to really push momentum towards TikTok…because that’s where the fandom is. They’re largely celebrating ‘Wednesday’ on TikTok and it’s not a blanket approach for all of our shows—that’s not the case for some of them.”

A fascinating contrast is “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” which enjoyed a brief stint as Netflix’s No. 2 most-watched English-language show before being surpassed by “Wednesday.” The story of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, starring Evan Peters, also enjoyed virality on TikTok as fans lip-synched to lines from the show in irreverent situations. But “Dahmer” wasn’t a show that Lee and her team could chase with immersive activations and in-character social accounts (for obvious reasons).

“We knew [‘Dahmer’] was going to be really big, but also is a darker subject matter,” said Lee. “‘Wednesday’ is a little more fun, but edgy, and ‘Dahmer’ is definitely deeper and darker. And so, we have to approach things in a more customized way, and particularly with ‘Dahmer,’ in a very sensitive way.”