Hulu Launches Ad-Assist Program for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

Hulu has launched the Creative Partner Program to assist small- and medium-sized businesses in creating advertising on the service.

The program offers access to “creative partners who are specially trained in Hulu best practices, and have expertise creating unique, non-templated ads for smaller businesses at all stages of the advertising creative process,” according to Faye Trapani, director of self-service platform sales.

The Creative Partner Program currently consists of four partners: GeneroShuttlerockQuickFrame and VidMob.

The service helps smaller businesses to design a program “whether an advertiser is repurposing an existing video for streaming TV or ‘baking from scratch,’” according to Trapani.

The Creative Partner Program offers a range of production options and price points.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Redbox, Showtime Running $5 Promo

Redbox is running a promotion with Showtime that allows consumers access to one month of the channel and five one-night Redbox rentals for $5.

Consumers who take advantage of the deal have the opportunity to binge Showtime series such as “The Chi,” “Shameless” and “Hustlers,” and rent such hit movies as Trolls World Tour, The Invisible Man and Bad Boys for Life, as well as Redbox Entertainment titles such as The Lost Husband with Josh Duhamel and Becky starring Kevin James, from Redbox.

The deal is available via Groupon here.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

PBS Appoints Marketing VP

PBS Distribution has been appointed Tonya Harley VP of marketing.

Harley will lead marketing and communications, supporting multiple brands and businesses, with a focus on customer acquisition and retention strategies for the company’s direct-to-consumer subscription businesses — PBS Masterpiece, PBS Kids, PBS Living and newly launched PBS Documentaries — on Prime Video Channels.

“Tonya is an Emmy-award winning marketing professional with a proven track record of successfully delivering results for clients that exceed expectations,” PBS Distribution co-president Andrea Downing said in a statement. “She brings keen analytical skills and experience across a wide range of industries, and her ability to create targeted and efficient media plans to drive acquisition across broadcast and digital platforms will support our key primary initiatives perfectly.”

Harley joins PBS Distribution from BCD Travel, where she led their hotel marketing team as the director of strategic marketing. She was responsible for building a modern brand identity, designing social media campaigns to drive engagement, and overseeing the creative development, social media, content development, sales training, and public relations to support product launches.

Prior to working for BCD Travel, Harley was a senior marketing strategist with Advito. During her five years there, she built a strategic vision for developing digital products to help clients reduce travel costs while building client retention and loyalty, and led a cross-functional team in creating the product strategy, positioning, and marketing plan to drive new business.

Follow us on Instagram

Before joining Advito, she spent five years at Liberty Mutual Insurance, culminating in the role of manager of national advertising. She was responsible for more than $125 million in creative and media spend, focusing on the strategy and creative development of brand television, direct-response television, and digital and field marketing. Harley built the first-ever marketing portal for field sales agents to create brand consistency across the organization while helping agents leverage marketing tactics to boost sales.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Early in her career, Harley’s experiences were rooted in client management at Argus Communications, where she developed omni-channel marketing campaigns for her clients. She saw her strategic recommendation come to life as a television ad that was nominated and won a National Academy of Arts & Sciences Emmy Award for “Outstanding Community or Public Service Single Spot” TV.

Sling TV Offers One-Year Price Guarantee

Sling TV has instituted a one-year price guarantee for all new and existing customers as online competitors, such as FuboTV and YouTube TV, have announced price hikes.

“In the current economic environment, many Americans are taking a hard look at their budgets,” read a July 1 company blog from Michael Schwimmer, group president, Sling TV. “Sling TV knows how difficult it can be to see any bill go up while trying to make ends meet or saving for the future.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

For customers who sign up for Sling TV or who have an existing account by Aug. 1, 2020, Sling TV will guarantee their current price on any Sling TV service through Aug. 1, 2021.

“We believe now is not the time to make our customers choose between staying informed and entertained, and putting dinner on the table,” he wrote. “Our hope is this one-year price guarantee will bring a sense of much needed stability in a time that feels uncertain to us all.”

Other offers include a 14-day free trial through July 6 and a free AirTV 2 with an OTA antenna for prepaying for three months of Sling TV (the combo allows access to local over-the-air broadcast networks).

‘Trolls World Tour’ Chalks Up Art at The Grove

In celebration of Trolls World Tour, designer and illustrator Keith Kaminski created a 15-foot, 3D chalk illustration of the character Tiny Diamond at the center of The Grove mall in Los Angeles. In the animated film — currently available for digital purchase and due on disc July 7 — Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick), Branch (Justin Timberlake) and the rest of the Trolls are back for another musical adventure. (Photos by Daniel Byun)

HBO Max Distributing Cannabis-Infused Gummies in New Promotion

In a sign of the times, WarnerMedia’s upstart SVOD platform HBO Max has begun marketing cannabis-infused edible gummies to help market new original series “Close Enough,” which premieres July 9.

Max is partnering with Sunderstorm’s Kanha Cannabis Infused Gummies and online distributor Eaze to launch a collection of character-inspired “Close Enough” edibles.

“Close Enough” is an animated comedy about a married couple, their 5-year-old daughter, and their two divorced best friends/roommates all living together on the east side of Los Angeles. They’re navigating that transitional time in your 30s when life is about growing up, but not growing old. It’s about juggling work, kids, and pursuing your dreams, while avoiding time-traveling snails, stripper clowns, and murderous mannequins. Their life may not be ideal but for now, it’s close enough.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“When crafting any campaign, our aim is always to create an experience for the audience that feels genuine and exciting,” Peter Sherman, SVP of program marketing at HBO Max, said in a statement.

“[Our] partnership with HBO Max is an exciting opportunity to showcase our delicious gummies to a brand new audience,” said Cameron Clarke, CEO of Sunderstorm, the parent company of Kanha.

Through the end of July, while supplies last, “Close Enough” Cannabis-Infused Gummies are available at select, licensed retailers in California. They will also be available for purchase and delivery via Eaze in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Paramount Offers Free Digital Rentals of ‘Selma’

Paramount Home Entertainment is offering free rentals of Selma via digital platforms through the end of the month.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, the film chronicles the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., to secure equal voting rights in an event that forever altered history.

“55 years after the historic marches from Selma, as we witness the expression of decades of collective pain, we should reflect on Dr. King’s words: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'” read a Paramount statement. “We hope this small gesture will encourage people throughout the country to examine our nation’s history and reflect on the ways that racial injustice has infected our society. The key message of Selma is the importance of equality, dignity and justice for all people. Clearly, that message is as vital today as it was in 1965.”

Also this week, Warner Bros. made the feature film Just Mercy available for free to stream on digital platforms through the month of June in reaction to the outcry over the death of George Floyd. That film is about black attorney Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan), founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human rights organization in Montgomery, Ala. It co-stars Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

OTT.X to Honor Industry Heroes

OTT.X (formerly the Entertainment Merchants Association) is looking to honor industry “heroes.”

The group is looking for a team member who has gone out of his or her way to help neighbors, to help the community, to support health care workers, or to just do something good during the pandemic — or for a team member who has gone out of his or her way to help the company continue to serve its customers during the crisis.

“Just as the hard work of grocery and pharmacy teams are keeping our pantries and medicine cabinets full, all of the teams in our industry, at digital platforms, channels and retailers; at content companies; and at all of the service and technology companies that facilitate the flow of content ultimately to the consumer are playing an important role in providing the needed entertainment to keep everyone sane during these stay-at-home days,” according to OTT.X. “We need to recognize our own heroes.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Entries should include a brief paragraph nominating a hero or heroes and a photo if possible. In mid-June, OTT.X will hold an online live ceremony recognizing all the heroes and presenting a few special awards. Nominations must be sent no later than May 30 to mfisher@ottx.org and include “our ottx hero” in the subject line.

In addition, OTT.X is soliciting pictures of home offices and awarding prizes. Photos should be sent to mfisher@ottx.org and include “my new home office” in the subject line.

Hulu Launches Quiz Feature to Help Consumers Choose Content to Watch

Hulu is launching a new quiz to help viewers find content to watch on the service based on questions they answer about their current feelings.

The quiz takes inspiration from Hulu’s latest “Hulu Has Whatever You’re Feeling” ad campaign.

The quiz for both subscribers and non-subscribers gives users a personalized recommendation from more than 600 TV shows and movies. The four-question quiz produces a recommendation that allows Hulu subscribers to begin streaming directly from the site or add to “My Stuff” for viewing later. Additional recommendations are a click away with the “Give Me Another” button. For those watching as a family, suggestions will focus on only kid-friendly content.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“With so many people spending more time at home, it’s probably no surprise that TV streaming is on the rise,” read a Hulu press release. “In fact, binge viewing on Hulu has increased by 41% since the beginning of March and on average, our viewers are watching nine different titles in a given week — up 26% compared to the same time last year.” 

The quiz is at whatshouldiwatch.hulu.com.

HBO Max Releases New Spot for Service

A new spot released April 22 kicked off the brand marketing campaign for WarnerMedia’s SVOD service HBO Max. The campaign centers on the tagline “Where HBO Meets So Much More.”

HBO Max launches May 27 with 10,000 hours of programming, including the entire HBO service, titles from Warner Bros. and a monthly offering of new Max Originals.

The spot “aims to call attention to the connective tissue that runs through all of the iconic programming and characters who will call the new streamer home,” according to the service. Marketing plans intend to “show how HBO Max is not just more of HBO, but more than HBO,” according to the press release.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“HBO is the gold standard in terms of premium original content, and we are going to market on the strength of that brand and the power of the library,” said Chris Spadaccini, chief marketing officer, WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-to-Consumer. “But HBO Max offers so much more than just HBO. We are establishing HBO Max as a place where all your favorite shows and movies intersect in unexpected ways. There’s a really fun attitude and personality to the campaign and each one of our ads has an element of surprise and delight.”