In a bid to stand out in a crowded streaming landscape, one of the pioneers has refreshed its design and the way it invites viewers and advertisers to engage with it.
Hulu, long a joint venture among multiple media companies but controlled by Disney since 2019, said it was ushering in “One Hulu,” a new “cross functional design system.” The effort will be promoted in a new set of TV and online ads (watch one above), as well as in outdoor and mobile ad venues.
The main objective of the new look is to establish Hulu as the place where viewers start their streaming experience. (Having a major live TV bundled service, Hulu + Live TV, certainly helps with that consumer proposition.) In February, Disney reported having 39.4 million subscribers to Hulu, with 4 million on the live bundle side, making Hulu the fifth-largest U.S. pay-TV operator.
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Disney, meanwhile, has also pushed its flagship, Disney+, which is jockeying with HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV+ and a number of other new rivals to Netflix. As the company has absorbed the many parts of 21st Century Fox it acquired in a $71.3 billion deal two years ago, Hulu has been one of the subsidiaries evolving the most dramatically. With pedigreed brands like FX and Searchlight joining the corporate fold, the main task has been reconciling those titles with Hulu originals and making everything accessible to viewers.
After the initial reveal this month with marketing materials and messages across the product interface and social media, the summer will see a focus on Hulu originals. The blitz will culminate in a “drum beat in the fall around the launch of fall TV,” the company said.
Advertising, a growing revenue source for Hulu, is a central business goal. (Next month, Hulu will get a major shoutout during Disney’s upfront pitch to media buyers.) “The green frame around Hulu serves as a ‘vessel’, a holder of precious things, to help elevate brand and content campaigns,” Hulu said in announcing the design update.
The “Time To Have Hulu” spot features a roster of Hulu talent including reality TV star Kris Jenner, United States vs. Billie Holiday star Andra Day and Los Angeles Rams football player Aaron Donald.
Hulu said it partnered with DixonBaxi on the final design approach, asking the firm to assess ways it could improve its interface. The firm determined that younger viewers are much more likely to consider streaming services to be “indispensible.” Research also indicated that consumers use symbols to navigate and gravitate towards things that move them from stress to relaxation, Hulu said. They expect Hulu to be “fun, modern, simple and straightforward,” adding that Hulu’s green color “is a source of power in brand cues and stands true to consumers.”