Ricky Gervais urges Aussies to watch Netflix. Or not. He doesn’t care.

In an inspired ad campaign to herald Netflix’s arrival in Australia, broadband and cable company Optus recruited comedian Ricky Gervais to deadpan his way through a series of short ads to promote its partnership with the video streaming service.

Karen Phipson of Optus explained:

“Key to the strategy was to approach this through a lens of entertainment and let Ricky interpret the message in his own style. The result is content that will drive social media conversation whilst delivering our core message of Optus and Netflix, which has become part of Ricky Gervais unique comedy.”

This “truth in advertising” strategy seems to have worked. Notes one YouTube commenter, “The first time I saw this was on a YouTube commercial before a video. I was going to skip it, but then it had me hooked on how different the ad was and I watched it all. Possibly the first time I’ve watched a YouTube ad in its entirety without wanting to skip it.”

The tongue-in-cheek campaign was created by APN News & Media’s content marketing division Emotive in conjunction with Fuel Communications and M&C Saatchi.

Want more? Check out Ricky’s whole set of commercials (so far) below: