Hulu Hires Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello to Warn Emmy Viewers: ‘Don’t Get Hulu’

Its ‘Better Ruins Everything’ campaign kicks off tonight

Married couple Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara are among the many celebs in Hulu's “Better Ruins Everything" campaign. Hulu
Headshot of Jason Lynch

A year after it became the first streaming service to win the Emmy for outstanding drama, Hulu has a surprising message for the audience of tonight’s Emmy ceremony: “Don’t get Hulu.”

The streaming service kicks off its new tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign, “Better Ruins Everything,” with a 60-second spot during tonight’s 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

In the ad, a number of actors and athletes who appear in programming on Hulu’s live TV and SVOD offerings, including real-life married couple Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, explain that once you discover a better way to do something—like flying first class, buying a king-size bed or adding bacon to a burger—it’s not possible to go back to the old way.

The ad culminates with the celebs warning viewers not to get Hulu, which “will ruin TV for you forever.”

In addition to Vergara and Manganiello, the spot features The Handmaid’s Tale’s Samira Wiley, I Love You, America’s Sarah Silverman, Black-ish’s Miles Brown and Ramy Youssef, from the upcoming Hulu series Ramy. It also includes a pair of athletes: Houston Rockets’ James Harden and Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff.

Hulu’s agency Big Family Table created the campaign, which has nine national spots. In addition to the 60-second spot airing during the Emmy Awards and NBC’s red carpet preshow, there will be various 30-second and 15-second versions of the ad.

The campaign runs through the end of the year and also includes digital video, online banners and out-of-home billboards in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas and Chicago.

This is the second outlet in the last three months to take a satirical “Don’t Watch” approach to a marketing campaign. In June, AMC’s out-of-home campaign for Season 3 of Preacher urged viewers, “Don’t Watch Preacher.”

Last year, Hulu became the first streaming service to win an Emmy for outstanding drama with The Handmaid’s Tale, which is nominated again tonight, and has 20 nominations overall.

Hulu increased its nomination tally from 18 in 2017 to 27 this year, largely thanks to Handmaid’s. It has already won four Emmys this year after last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys ceremonies: three for Handmaid’s and one for March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.