Free Streaming Service Tubi Encourages People to Cheat on Netflix in New Campaign

'I couldn't take my eyes off Tubi last night,' reads one new billboard

tubi billboard cheat on netflix
The new ads will appear on billboards in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. Tubi

Tubi, the free ad-supported streaming service, wants potential customers to know there’s an alternative to Netflix and chill.

In a new out-of-home branding campaign, which goes live Monday, the San Francisco-based streaming service is reminding Hulu and Netflix customers that there’s a free streaming service they could be hanging out with instead.

“Dear Hulu, you’re cool and all, but I couldn’t take my eyes off Tubi last night,” reads one cheeky ad, which will be splashed across billboards in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. Another one reads: “Dear Netflix, I didn’t think you’d find out. I streamed Tubi last night.”

Creative and strategy for the ads were handled in-house. They will run on billboards, taxi TVs and digital out-of-home inventory, as well as connected TVs and across digital and social media. The campaign will run for between four and eight weeks, depending on the location.

Emily Jordan, Tubi’s vice president of marketing, said the messaging was designed to let potential customers know that Tubi and other ad-supported video-on-demand services (AVOD) can serve as a “complement” to their existing streaming apps.

“With subscription fatigue and streaming wars heating up, we were focused on a playful and simple way of connecting with our audience and letting them know Tubi (and AVOD) could help relieve some of the pain points (like price hikes) of SVOD [subscription video on demand],” Jordan said.

The campaign lands as AVOD services have been quietly yet rapidly gaining momentum in the OTT space over the past year.

Many companies are investing heavily in original and library content to attract new subscribers with SVOD offerings like the soon-to-launch Disney+ and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max. But other services, like Tubi and Viacom’s Pluto TV, are looking to appeal to potential viewers who aren’t interested in spending more on a monthly or yearly streaming subscription. These platforms offer content for free and make money by serving targeted advertisements during commercial breaks.

Tubi, which was founded in 2014, has more than 15,000 films and television shows on its platform, and earlier this year said it was investing more than nine figures in content acquisition to built out its content library. In June, the venture-backed service said it had more than 20 million monthly active users.

At the time, Tubi founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi expressed optimism that AVOD would become more attractive “in an environment fatigued by the amount of subscription video options.”

@kelseymsutton Kelsey Sutton is the streaming editor at Adweek, where she covers the business of streaming television.