As Upfronts Begin, Tubi Targets Marketers With Film Series
What if true crime dramas, romcoms and suspense thrillers focused on the trials, tribulations and triumphs of media buyers, account teams and agency creative pros?
Quite rightly, no one anywhere has ever wanted to know. And yet, Fox-owned ad-supported streamer Tubi supplies the answer in three short films created with Mischief @ No Fixed Address.
Marketing types are both the stars and target audience in work timed to the Upfronts. Each clip, running under the broader "Call to Action" banner, runs about 5 minutes. They're packed with enough style to fill a whiteboard and rock a vaguely subversive vibe not unlike that Clio Award-winning Tubi/Mischief Super Bowl spectacle with the big-ass bunnies.
No one dons rabbit costumes this time around. But the imagery and situations are memorably twisted, satirical and at times mildly NSFW. They should resonate with this very specific demographic. (Much as Spotify's "Song for Every CMO.")
First, a media pro endures a noir nightmare as he's trussed up in an alley and interrogated—though maybe that's not so different than a typical day at the office:
That was kind of scary, but perhaps less soul-sucking than the struggles of a strategist striving to penetrate the Gen Z mindset:
Finally, a cutesy romance that zings our cultural obsession with dating shows and brings all the feels amid nods to improved ROI:
And here's a series trailer—or perhaps we should stick with the B2B theme and call it an executive summary:
Perhaps the spots drag a tad? Alas, they're not targeting video editors. Let the buyers enjoy their jargon-soaked tributes before heading back into the dank recesses of the media department to do whatever it is they do.
We chatted with Mischief creative director Hunter Fine about the approach:
MUSE: Why go long form? What's the strategy?
Hunter Fine: We wanted to serve marketers and attendees of events like the Upfronts original content, opposed to the ads they see every day. The idea was not to create "ads," but films they can relate to, bringing levity to buyers during a busy season. We hope the takeaway is that Tubi is a place where they can reach a massive audience, due to the wide array of movies and series appealing to multitudes of subcultures and fandoms.
So, it's BTB advertising with a consumer-style spin?
While B2B marketing can rely heavily on touting the latest ad tech features or metrics, the overarching plan was to do something unconventional and grab the attention of marketing and advertising professionals, keeping Tubi uniquely top of mind as they go into investment strategies. With over 50,000 titles, there’s something for everyone and maybe everything for someone on Tubi. Our strategy was to let the people who place, plan or buy digital media know that Tubi has niche films for every sub-genre of people out there—even them.
Where will they discover the campaign?
We're running a targeted digital campaign on industry sites, as well as full takeovers. We're also targeting markets where many advertising professionals work. As people take public transportation to events or the office, our posters and promos will be hard to miss. For example, we have station takeovers and wild out-of-home placements near the Fulton Street subway stop and World Trade Center [in NYC].
Can you talk about making each of the films? Any anecdotes to share?
Under The Impression: This was shot in the Brooklyn Navy Yard at an old fish warehouse. The smell of fish made all the actors feel a little uncomfortable, which you can see in their performances.
The Gen Z Next Door: We shot this in one day in a house in Ditmas Park [also Brooklyn]. Our actresses were amazing and everything went smoothly, until midnight, when right after shooting the final scene, the haze we added to the background set off the fire alarm and firetrucks showed up, blaring.
Request for Proposal: The very last shot (without giving too much away) is a real reaction from the girlfriend character. We gave a line that was completely ridiculous to the actor playing the boyfriend role—just to see how the girlfriend would react. And it paid off. The thing he said never made the cut, but her reaction is priceless.
Tubi - Client
Founder & Chief Executive Officer - Farhad Massoudi
Chief Marketing Officer - Nicole Parlapiano
Vice President of Sales Marketing - Cynthia Clevenger
Director, Brand Marketing - Yujin Chi
Director, Media Strategy - Jeff Campbell
Senior Manager, Event Marketing - Erica Oropeza
Coordinator, Marketing Operations - Brittany Helms
Mischief - Agency
CCO and Co-Founder - Greg Hahn
Partner & Executive Creative Director - Bianca Guimaraes
Partner & Executive Creative Director - Kevin Mulroy
Creative Director - Hunter Fine
Creative Director / Writer - Carl Peterson
Copywriter - Aubrey Estes
Art Director - Hannah Berling
ACD / Poster Design - João Viégas
EVP, Head of Production - Will Dempster
Partner & Head of Strategy - Jeff McCrory
Group Strategy Director - Ed Gunn
Jr Strategist - Hannah Hugeback
Partner & President - Kerry McKibbin
Managing Director - Tyler Harris
Account Executive - Maddy Vonderhaar
Partner & Head of Development - Oliver McAteer
Greenpoint - Production Company
Founder, Michael Kuhn
Executive Producer, Partner Tatiana Rudzinski
Executive Producer Leah Donnenberg Ramia
Head of Production Karen Berkowitz
Senior Producer Lexy Leeds
Director Ghost & Cow
Director Chelsea Lupkin
Producer Jennifer Carter Campbell
Director of Photography Charlotte Hornsby