Inside Pluto TV’s First Super Bowl Appearance

The AVOD is using the Big Game to launch a months-long marketing campaign and brand refresh

Pluto TV is celebrating its 10th anniversary on the world’s biggest stage.

The Paramount-owned ad-supported streaming service will make its debut Super Bowl appearance with a 60-second promo running in the second half of the Big Game.

“Couch Potato Farms” comes from creative agency Haymaker and takes viewers on a journey to Pluto TV Country, where couch potatoes are raised on content from Pluto TV.

“We know that most viewers come to Pluto because they want to feel a certain way, unlike SVOD where a lot of viewing is very title-driven,” Valerie Kaplan, global svp and head of consumer marketing, told ADWEEK. “We wanted to make sure that we had a brand platform, both from a design perspective and a campaign, that really tapped into that human experience of watching TV.”

“It’s a huge opportunity and a huge platform to get our brand out in front of a bigger audience than we’ve ever had,” Kaplan added.

Pluto’s Super Bowl campaign has been in the works for the past seven months, and the company is also taking the opportunity to debut a brand refresh.

“The Super Bowl also gives opportunity and license to push the boundaries from a creative perspective, which for Pluto is even more important,” said Kaplan. “We don’t have original content that we produce ourselves. We obviously want to feature all of our IP and the great content we have on the platform, but we really do have a brand-forward story to tell.”

The brand had never worked with Haymaker before, but Kaplan described the partnership as “awesome.”

“Any time you work with a new agency, there’s always a little bit of an unknown, particularly for the Super Bowl when the stakes are so high and there’s some risks,” said Kaplan.

Haymaker had pitched the idea for the campaign before Pluto had signed with the agency.

“As we were having other conversations, we just constantly found ourselves coming back to it, so we knew there was something really sticky and magical there,” said Kaplan.

Refreshing the brand

Pluto’s brand refresh features an updated logo, motion graphics and color scheme while keeping the signature font of the existing logo. The new bright shade of yellow is being called “Plutonium,” and the new motion graphic references the planet Pluto.

“Internally we’re talking about this stage of Pluto as our third act,” said Kaplan, with the first act as a start-up and the second under the Viacom acquisition in 2019. “We’re really trying to put a stake in the ground for the future.”

Pluto had three primary objectives for its refresh: differentiation, resonating with new audiences and preserving components of the brand that were already working.

“Our category is more crowded than ever, and we wanted to make sure we were standing out effectively,” said Kaplan.

The on-air promo will also kick off a wider marketing campaign across linear, CTV, radio, streaming audio, OOH, digital display and social media—and expect to see more world-building around Pluto’s couch potato farm.

“One of the pleasant surprises of the creative concept is that it really lends itself to all of these vignettes that are super modular,” said Kaplan. “It’ll be a full-funnel 360 integrated campaign.”

Live from Las Vegas

In addition to the promo running during the game, Paramount will have a strong brand presence on the ground in Las Vegas, activating across four brands.

The company says it’s the largest brand presence at the Sphere this week, with Paramount+, Pluto TV, CBS Sports and Nickelodeon all represented.

Pluto TV developed Moody, a new mood-bot that emphasizes the streaming service has TV for any mood. The company is using the Sphere to debut its brand refresh and highlighting titles like Sonic the Hedgehog, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Walking Dead, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Brady Bunch Movie.

For the latest Super Bowl 58 advertising news—who’s in, who’s out, teasers, full ads and more—check out Adweek’s Super Bowl 2024 Ad Tracker and the rest of our stories here. And join us on the evening of Feb. 11 for the best in-game coverage of the commercials.

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