- Huggies, the diaper brand owned by Kimberly-Clark, partnered with publisher Scary Mommy on a limited Hulu streaming series that looks to bring levity to the challenges facing new mothers, according to a news release.
- Hosted by comedian Abbi Crutchfield, "Up Early Tonight" emulates the format of a late-night variety talk show. Each 20-minute episode will feature segments like monologues, panels and sketches around navigating parenthood in 2020, with guests including Ophira Eisenberg of NPR's "Ask Me Another" and Ester Steinberg of the "Stand Up Mom" podcast.
- The four-episode series premieres Dec. 17 and was produced by Some Spider, Scary Mommy's parent company. Huggies serves as presenting sponsor, an indication of how Kimberly-Clark is adjusting content strategy to account for the streaming boom.
Huggies' partnership with Scary Mommy on "Up Early Tonight" signals how Kimberly-Clark is eyeing more marketing opportunities in the streaming space as digital video consumption continues to climb under the pandemic. The Hulu show is styled after late-night programming and caters to an audience essential to the diaper marketer's business — new mothers — who may be spending less time with traditional media like TV, but are still searching for content that can keep them occupied, particularly at odd hours.
Mothers are generally under greater pressure as they attempt to find a work-life balance while stuck at home during the pandemic, and "Up Early Tonight" seeks to provide a reprieve. The series aims to be relatable by focusing on female comedians and creators who are also mothers and can dish on subjects particular to navigating the parenting space during an unusual year. Topics for discussion include everything from mom fashion to joking about unsolicited parenting advice, per the release.
Scary Mommy focuses on humorous blog content tailored to moms, and has expanded its purview into areas like streaming under Some Spider, which also owns publishers Fatherly and The Dad. Hulu has similarly ramped up its investments in branded content to diversify revenue beyond traditional ad placements. The platform majority-owned by Disney offers both ad-supported and ad-free subscription tiers, and has claimed it wants to eventually derive half of its revenue from "nondisruptive and nontraditional" ads.
Consumers have flocked to services like Hulu as they spend more time at home during the pandemic. The accelerated jump to streaming has led analysts to speculate that the TV market might not recover, and many marketers are shifting media investments accordingly.
Kimberly-Clark, which also owns Cottonelle toilet paper and Kleenex tissues, has received a sales boost from the pandemic as consumers stock up on household goods. But analysts expect COVID-19 could create a baby bust amid a broader economic slowdown, which might put new pressure on packaged goods brands to innovate with their marketing and outreach.