Streaming company could be begging for smart marketing
Steve’s breakdown: There’s way too much hitting the fan over at Hulu not to start thinking “maybe they could use a few fresh ideas”. I mean, take a look at their April promo video. No Ideas, None! And in this market, they should be everywhere with stunning creative! Right?
On top of all that, their talent keeps bailing so maybe a little help from the outside might be welcome.
SANTA MONICA, CA: For the second consecutive week, a Hulu exec is leaving the streaming service to work at a social media platform.
Nick Tran, Hulu’s vp of brand marketing and culture, is exiting the company tomorrow and heading to TikTok, the companies confirmed today. Tran, who has been at Hulu since 2018, will join TikTok as head of marketing for North America on Monday, where he will head up brand marketing, campaigns and social efforts for the ByteDance-owned video app.
This is the second high-level departure for Hulu in two weeks, and the third this year, following the January exit of Hulu CEO Randy Freer as Hulu continues to integrate into Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment. Peter Naylor, Hulu’s svp and head of advertising sales, stepped down last week after six years at the streamer to head to Snap, another social video service that has been focusing on increasing its video advertising business.
Tran first joined Hulu in 2018 under then-CMO Kelly Campbell, who now serves as the streamer’s president, to work on developing marketing initiatives for Hulu along with Ryan Crosby, who came aboard as vp of content marketing at the same time as Tran. The brand and content marketing teams have since become more streamlined, and Tran and his team in the last year reported into Crosby, now vp of brand and content marketing.
It was not immediately clear who would replace Tran at Hulu.
Tran and his brand marketing team worked closely on a series of tongue-in-cheek Hulu brand campaigns known as “Better Ruins Everything,” in which celebrity spokespeople warned customers not to get Hulu at the risk of ruining traditional television forever. He was also involved in Hulu’s live sports campaign, which featured professional athletes cashing in on promotional efforts.
An iteration of that campaign, spearheaded by Crosby and Hulu Live TV marketing director Michael Schneider, was brought to the Super Bowl with help from quarterback Tom Brady this February. Tran has also worked on brand campaigns centered on Hulu’s reality programming, enlisting the help of model and celebrity chef Chrissy Teigen to promote the service’s reality show library.
Prior to Hulu, Tran had marketing stints at Samsung, Taco Bell and apparel startup Stance Socks. Tran is a member of the Adweek Innovators Council.
TikTok, which now has 30 million monthly active users in the U.S., has become perhaps the most dynamic social platform on the market since it burst onto the scene in the U.S. in 2018. The platform, where people can upload videos up to a minute long, has explored some advertising features such as shoppable ads and a biddable ad format in addition to its signature hashtag challenges, which brands can pay to sponsor and promote.
In August, Stefan Heinrich Henriquez, who was head of global marketing at TikTok, left the company for Cameo, a platform where users can pay celebrities for record short custom videos.
In the past year, TikTok has partnered with brands such as Ralph Lauren, P&G, Elf Cosmetics and Tran’s former employer Taco Bell. It’s also become a hub for sports leagues that, like everyone else, have doubled down on at-home content while live games are on hold.
With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping large swaths of Americans indoors and isolated, TikTok’s signature do-it-yourself video style and endless meme-making opportunities are particularly well suited for the moment.