Hulu has released its fair share of branded content, but it seems as if the online video platform wants to move in a different direction. According to a report in Adweek, Hulu is restructuring its branded content division, and the head of that division, Bryan Thoensen, has left the company.
Hulu’s previous branded offerings have included series like Escape My Life (branded by Ford), The 4 to 9ers (Subway), and Farmed and Dangerous (Chipotle). According to Adweek, the reshuffle suggests Hulu may now offer sponsorship deals for its originals rather than entire series created in partnership with agencies.
“As Hulu’s content slate has grown, we have evolved to offer advertisers more comprehensive integrated solutions, including targeted integration into Original Series,” reads a statement from Hulu. “As part of this process, the integrated marketing team will work more closely with the Ad Solutions team to offer clients fully integrated, cross-platform opportunities.”
Adweek quotes a number of advertising executives, one of whom called Hulu’s branded content strategy a “rigid model.” At the same time, the bottom line is that Hulu’s branded series haven’t been very appealing. Farmed and Dangerous, for instance, reportedly cost seven figures, but it didn’t stir up much excitement among viewers. Non-branded originals, such as Deadbeat and The Hotwives of Orlando, have been much stronger of late, so it makes sense for Hulu to position its sponsorships around those shows.
Thoensen did not respond to Adweek’s request for comment.