In its all-seeing benevolence, Netflix has decided to help parents trick children into going to bed early on New Year’s Eve. According to CNN Money, Netflix has provided a three-minute New Year’s Eve countdown featuring King Julien, Madagascar’s lemur despot, to its members. (It’s already online, for parents who also want to lie to their children about what day it is.)
In a survey conducted for Netflix by Wakefield Research, 87 percent of parents plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve with their kids, and 34 percent of those parents trick their kids into thinking the moment happens at an earlier time. So the countdown is about helping parents hoodwink their gullible, exhausting kids, and not a viral marketing campaign for the new series All Hail King Julien, which Netflix debuted on December 19.
If the venture results in well-rested children and a spike in King Julien viewership, it’s not hard to envision other companies teaming up to offer similarly deceptive “family services.” It’s fine to have Uber pick up visiting in-laws from the airport and bring them to your home, but imagine if they were deposited at the local Arby’s instead. Their disappointment and betrayal could be quickly appeased with combo meal coupons. By the time Travelocity emailed them a business-class upgrade to take the next available flight home, they’d be ecstatic.