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Inside the Rich Storytelling at the Heart of HBO's Brand Marketing

Brand chief Jason Mulderig on the launch of HBO Max, the craft of 'Backstories' and more

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In this week’s episode of On Brand, we speak with Jason Mulderig, svp of brand marketing for HBO and HBO Max at WarnerMedia. It's been a busy spring for Jason, whose team had to largely scrap their launch plans for HBO Max due to the pandemic and devise a new approach for introducing the streaming service. He explains that pivot, and gives us a peek into the creativity behind HBO's celebrated marketing at the brand level—from the wonderfully crafted "Backstories" animations to the brand's powerful takes on mental health and amplifying the power of women.


• 2:07 - How Jason and his team have managed working from home.
• 3:37 - The challenges of launching HBO Max during the pandemic.
• 6:58 - How Jason's previous work on the HBO Go and HBO Now launches helped him prepare for HBO Max.
• 11:10 - The genius of HBO's "Backstories" animated series, including the new episodes with Robin Thede and Danny McBride.
• 15:43 - How HBO devises innovative brand campaigns around issues like mental health and women's empowerment, and ties them back to the network's shows.
• 20:52 - What it's like working with creative agencies Wieden + Kennedy and BBDO.
• 22:04 - How HBO sees the competitive landscape in streaming.
• 25:17 - What Jason is hopeful for personally as we proceed through the Covid crisis.

New episodes of On Brand roll out every Thursday at 4 p.m. ET. Each week, Clio president Nicole Purcell and I chat with top brand marketers—most of whom are still working from home—about the value and effectiveness of creativity, what they want from their agency and solution partners, how they're shepherding their brands through Covid and beyond, and more.

See all the episodes here.

If you're a brand marketer who'd like to take part in the series, please get in touch.

Brand Text
Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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