Hulu, the new NBC owned video site that promises to "help people find and enjoy the world's premium video content when, where and how they want it" is running a curious advertising campaign that is focused on the idea that...wink wink...television rots your brain, but if you want more of it, go to Hulu.
When I see a "poke fun at yourself advertising campaign", I envision myself as the lead account executive at a major agency selling the campaign. My guess is it went something like this:
Agency: Our research shows that people that watch television and online videos think that others watch more and that isn't cool. So advertising needs to speak to heavy viewers that dismiss video viewing as a good use of time.
Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu - Now are you sure. I find it odd that our target audience doesn't really want more of our product. What you are saying is that we need to say that people that watch it more than you are losers.
Agency: Exactly, so we need to communicate how are product will work against you. More television via Hulu is a bad idea.
Jason Kilar, - so my product, where people can get hard to find video clips and great television programming, maybe even the platform of choice for Internet Television, is actually a bad idea...and that we have to be a bad idea in order to be a good idea.
Agency: Right - That's exactly it. And to communicate that bad idea we are going to pick celebrities that are cool and who reinforce that even though they are in television shows that appeal to millions each week, watching more of them will rot your brain. Besides its a great media placement idea to buy the adjacency next to their shows as a way of promoting Hulu.
Jason Kilar - Well if that's what the research is telling us......
My perspective is simply that there are an infinite number of directions to choose from when developing an advertising campaign.
Hulu is a great platform that promises to reinvent television. Why then, would you choose to invest millions into a campaign that mocks your own existence, draws a parallel to the old world television technology and risks mocking your heavy viewing audience that loves TV.
My guess is they will be looking for a new agency within the next 6 months. Just Watch.