Australian streaming service Presto has upped the ante in a fierce turf war with US giant Netflix, thanks to a new star-studded advertising campaign.
The Foxtel and Seven-backed platform has enlisted the help of Aussie Hollywood darling Naomi Watts and brands Netflix as “all sizzle and no sausage”.
In a lavish TV ad (which you can watch at the bottom of this story), Watts plays a diva version of herself, telling Aussie streamers to “demand more” than Netflix’s “scraps”.
“Some Hollywood actors have a reputation for being demanding,” Watts says in the ad. “Thankfully I am not like that.
“I really do become a drama queen, when an on-demand service from America tries to sell us all sizzle and no sausage.”
Interim Presto CEO Shaun James said in a statement: “Our new Demand More campaign, in which Naomi features, shares the great news that unlike other SVOD services, Presto gives Australian viewers access to HBO content and exclusive TV shows.
“Australians really can be more demanding with their Presto on demand service.”
The New Daily contacted Netflix Australia for a response to the Presto campaign, however the streaming giant declined to comment.
Presto’s new straight-talking push against Netflix came after data showed the US company surging ahead of its competitors in the Australian streaming market.
In July, Roy Morgan research reported that an estimated 1.42 million Australians had access to Netflix in more than 559,000 homes.
In comparison, Presto had 97,000 users in Australia. Stan (91,000) and Quickflix (43,000) followed behind.
The research noted Netflix’s reach grew by 151,000 households in the month from June to July this year.
At the time the report was released, Quickflix CEO Stephen Langsford questioned the accuracy of the Roy Morgan data.
Presto is home to a wide range of Australian content including Wentworth, Satisfaction, Love My Way and HBO series’ The Sopranos, Entourage and Boardwalk Empire.
Netflix is home to Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Mythbusters and Bloodline.
In May, data suggested more than one million Foxtel subscribers had considered cancelling their pay-TV service for deals with Netflix, Stan or Presto.
‘Is she really going to watch Presto?’
Oscar-nominated actress Watts plays her part “in a nice looking ad”, according to Deakin University media and communication expert Dr Nina Weerakkody.
However, Dr Weerakkody told The New Daily it’s unusual that someone who doesn’t live in Australia is “spruiking” a Down Under-exclusive service.
“Naomi Watts spends most of her time in the US,” Dr Weerakkody said.
“Is she really going to watch Presto even when in Australia?
“It could a case of a celebrity who may not actually be using the product spruiking it.”
In January, Fairfax and Nine-backed service Stan launched an ad campaign featuring Rebel Wilson, who is also Hollywood-based.
The ad campaign was filmed in New York and will go to air on Thursday September 3.
Dr Weerakkody said the ad, which directly named its competitor, was a strange yet bold move, more common in the US.
“[The ad is] using a US-based celebrity as well as using a US strategy of advertising … But its success will ultimately depend on what content is offered by either service.”
She explained that ultimately, Presto’s relationship with Foxtel might be holding it back.
“These services [Netflix and Presto] are currently popular with younger crowds who choose it over Foxtel,” she said.
“Therefore I think they are unlikely go for a streaming service coming from Foxtel, like Presto.”