- Range Rover and Hulu teamed up on a futuristic car that appears in the streaming service's new original series "The First," about astronauts working to be the first humans on Mars, Adweek reported. The show, which premiered on Sept. 14, stars Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone.
- The car is based on the Range Rover Sport that is not available for purchase but could be available in 2030 and will be displayed at the L.A. Auto Show. It was designed to follow the timeline of the show's setting. The campaign includes a promo video showcasing the car and two behind-the-scenes videos showing how the vehicle was made.
- In related news, an integrated ad for SunTrust and titled "Confident Explorer," will run with each episode of "The First," mimicking the look and feel of the show, according to information provided to Marketing Dive. A 30-second spot shows a little girl's obsession with space exploration and follows her into adulthood. The story will include an integrated campaign that will appear across digital, social, print and in-branch collateral.
As the video streaming services market continues to heat up, platforms are looking for new revenue sources beyond subscriptions and finding unique ways to team up with brands is one priority. With the campaigns centered around "The First," Hulu is showing how these kinds of partnerships can work in an authentic way that keeps viewers engaged. The SunTrust campaign is an extension of Hulu's Custom Integrated Commercial, which aims to create a cohesive experience between a show's and a brand's creative.
Range Rover's creation of a new futuristic car for the show and videos showing how the car was made are part of a larger trend of marketers looking to product placements. Marketers are recognizing that traditional TV spots alone aren't enough to reach consumers, as live TV viewership continues to drop. The product placement market is expected to reach $10 billion in 2018, with brands demanding higher-value integrations, according to PQ Media.
Over-the-top (OTT) services, like Hulu, is the fastest growing segment for product placements, as marketers look for unique ways to reach the growing audiences on streaming platforms, which don't accept traditional advertising formats. Hulu has more than 20 million subscribers, according to the company, and its original programming earned the platform 27 Emmy nominations this year, per Adweek.
Other video streaming platforms are getting creative with their brand partnerships to grow revenue and attract viewers. Amazon recently announced plans to offer shoppable experiences within its new fashion-focused series that will star Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, formerly of "Project Runway." Netflix, which has dominated the streaming space, said that it will increase its marketing spend by 54% to $2 billion and invest more in original content. Netflix also recently announced that it is testing running ads for its original programming before new episodes of series.