"To the 53 people who've watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?" asked Netflix on Twitter. The reactions varied from the hilarity to cautious humour to condemnation. Some complained about Netflix's flippant use of its database.
Digital companies have a treasure trove of information on the habits and preferences of their consumers. However, companies are also taking a bit of a risk when they turn those findings into marketing, whether through conversational social media posts or advertisements.
Take what Spotify did. It came up with lines like "Take a page from the 3,445 people who streamed the 'Boozy Brunch' playlist on a Wednesday this year." Although it was harmless, there were concerns that Big Data was rearing its ugly head.
Brands like Spotifiy and Netflix have argued that they have avoided lines that appear to be laughing at people's habits. That is a very fine line.