With so many ways for consumers to watch television content, standing out among other streaming platforms is essential for a business like Hulu.
“In a D2C business like Hulu, brand becomes more important because consumers have a choice….there is real value in a brand,” said Pato Spagnoletto, SVP of growth marketing at Hulu.
And branding was the center of Hulu’s panel discussion at the 2019 Promax Conference on Tuesday, June 4, “From TV Disruptor to D2C Leader: Breaking Through and Driving Growth.” There, Spagnoletto was joined by three other Hulu marketing professionals to review the steamer’s latest—and most effective—brand campaigns.
But before these creative campaigns were developed, the streamer had to identify its place among competitors. They quickly discovered that brand awareness wasn’t a challenge—instead, they had to focus on changing the public’s perspective.
“Everyone still thought of it as how it was five or six years ago,” said Nick Tran, VP, brand and culture. “People had this older, outdated perception of it.”
And that’s what led to a string of campaigns released by the streamer over the last year. It started with its “Better Ruins Everything” campaign.
The point of the campaign was to show viewers that once they experience something better than traditional TV—like Hulu—all of your expectations will change. This led to the secondary tagline, “Never get Hulu.”
“It pops out in a bold way,” Tran said.
The campaign, which ran from September to December 2018, ended up driving a record number of subscriptions during Black Friday, when the streamer sold subscriptions for only 99 cents.
In another campaign that gained widespread attention, Hulu purposefully put its influencers front and center by declaring that it pays its influencers….and it pays them well.
The idea stemmed from the streamers’ target audience, where becoming an influencer has become a dream career—Generation Z. By tapping into this mindset, Hulu successfully brought to light that is has live sports.
No Ads on Hulu
Hulu takes pride in providing two options for subscribers—ad-supported and no ads. The latter inspired this campaign, which, at first, was a gamble to propose to Hulu’s sales team, said Nicole Sabatini, VP, integrated marketing.
But it was the difference in audiences that led them to move forward with the later-successful campaign.
“[The option for no-ads] is about choice, control and flexibility,” Sabatini said. “The people who choose ads are more likely to engage with ads anyways.”
All in all, Hulu aims to be more than just a resource for streaming content. In collaboration with marketing for specific shows, the company aims to be a cohesive, powerhouse brand.
“What we’re trying to do is bring it all together and build that reason to believe,” said Damon Van Deusen, vice president, creative. “We’re packaging ourselves up as more than just a content aggregate…this brand voice builds a reason for people to be friends and invest time in Hulu.”