Media > Culture & Context




Silver Cannes Lions
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Why is this work relevant for Media?

The Super Bowl is the biggest media moment on the planet, generating $600M in advertising revenue for a single program.

All creative might is used to grab the audience’s attention, yet most follow a very tired formula: Celebrity + Production Budget + 60s = Success.

This year one brand stole the show in 15 seconds. A brand most people hadn’t heard of before the Super Bowl.

Tubi’s Interface Interruption did this by understanding the audience’s mood at the time of screening in the fourth quarter of the game and turning it into a product demo.


Tubi is an AVOD streaming service prioritizing engagement over driving subscriptions

By 2023, even though Tubi had been in the streaming market for ten years, it didn’t have the brand recognition it deserved.

Understandably, the third most Googled Tubi phrase was ‘Is Tubi legit?’ when the category is overrun with Netflix, Disney+, and HBOs of the world.

We needed to make Tubi unignorable at the Super Bowl to gain legitimacy. Both so people would explore their content more willingly, but also so media buyers would advertise with them.

The Super Bowl is the most viewed sporting moment of the year. And with more tuning in on Smart TVs, we knew that the only thing that could get between people and watching their team was someone sitting on the remote… What if we used that insight as an entry point for people to familiarize themselves with Tubi’s interface?

Describe the creative idea / insights

We knew the Super Bowl would have more eyeballs than any other sporting event.

76% of American households also have a Smart TV in them.

One thing that a Smart TV has that our less-than-smart-TVs of generations past don’t, is the ability to not only change channels, but change viewing platforms. I.e., you might be watching tennis, and at the stroke of a single button be on Netflix.

This is very efficient when you’re wanting to change channels, but it can be an absolute fiasco when you’ve done it accidentally. But we’ve all done it at some point in our lives.

Creative Idea: Disrupt the Super Bowl with Tubi’s Interface. This work would do two things:

Simulated a changed channel to get our audience’s attention.

Do it all on Tubi’s interface so people would familiarize themselves with Tubi and check if they had it on their TV.

Describe the strategy

Tubi had two core targets for this campaign:

Gen-Z/Millennials. Compared to other streaming platforms, Tubi’s audience skewed older, epitomized by Columbo being our most streamed show. Most didn’t know that Tubi even existed.

Media buyers. Tubi is a free service, but only remains free by having media buyers and advertisers purchase placements on the platform.

We needed to legitimize Tubi as a player in the streaming world to both, to drive viewership from a younger audience and increase spend from media buyers.

We knew earned media would travel far further than the Super Bowl itself. We therefore wanted to create something that would cause a reaction. This was for a few reasons:

While viewing, audiences would be likely to share their confusion or their family members’ reaction to the rest of the world.

The growth of reaction videos on platforms such as TikTok

Describe the execution

With the scores at 35-35 in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. 113 million people are glued to their televisions. Nobody wants to miss a moment.

The nation’s adrenaline starts to climb after the ‘Jesus Gets Us’ spot ends and the FOX sports broadcasters return to discuss this tight game.

Suddenly all TVs appear to be changing the channel… to Tubi. And it starts cycling through the assorted content on Tubi and to select “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”.

That was the execution.

15 seconds to stun a nation and have them experience the Tubi interface.

Instantly Gen-Z and Millennials flocked to Twitter, TikTok, Instagram to voice their amusement, or show the reactions of their family and friends.

List the results

In 15 seconds, Tubi became the most talked about brand at the Super Bowl garnering:

6.8 billion impressions

2,000+ articles

4.2+ million video views

1196% increase in social conversation

Google searches hit an all-time high

In the biggest game of the year, Tubi became #4 trending topic on Twitter behind only Rihanna and the two teams playing.

In the month following, Tubi recorded their most viewing hours and unique viewers in the brand's history. They, for the first time, broke into the top 10 on Neilsen’s rankings, with a 1% share of total US television viewership in February, equalling rival Peacock and passing key competitor Pluto TV to become the 6th most watched streaming service.

We also drove conversion: “Advertisers are thinking of us in a new creative light, and media buyers are telling us we made their jobs easier.” – Mark Rotblat, Chief Revenue Officer at Tubi

Please tell us about how the work challenged / was different from the brands competitors

Tubi wasn’t the only streaming service to appear at the Super Bowl. Netflix, Paramount, even Disney+ were there.

But every streaming service traditionally follows a similar format: it’s all content-led, either previewing a marquee show that’s launching, or the wide range of content that they already have. They play it safe, trying to appeal to all people, as opposed to taking any risk.

Tubi wanted to challenge the status-quo. Instead of using our content as a means to appeal to grow an audience, we wanted to act more like a brand. And a mischievous brand at that.

Interface Interruption leaned into our unique attitude, took a big risk, challenging the status quo - among a category of streaming services who rely on content to try and ensnare audiences.

Is there any cultural context that would help the jury understand how this work was perceived by people in the country where it ran?

The Super Bowl is the most viewed sporting event in the USA every single year. It’s a cultural event that transcends, for many, the sport itself. There’s the halftime show, the buildup, and even the commercials hold a special place in the experience.

This means that competition is at its most fierce for audience attention, as for many brands their entire media budget is spent in this one show.

It’s also important to note that Americans have been at the epicenter of the streaming wars. They’ve been bombarded with Netflix, Prime, HBO Max, Roku, through every channel for years leading to a general sense of burnout.

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