Hulu’s Jenny Wall Is a Pioneer of the Web Series Form

But she doesn’t discount the impact of outdoor and TV advertising


Who Jenny Wall

New gig Svp, head of marketing at Hulu

Old gig Vp, marketing at Netflix

Age 44

Photo: Karl J Kaul/Wonderful Machine

So how did you find Hulu?

I think I found Hulu in the sense that I’d been an avid Hulu user on my own—they called me in respect to some recommendations from the field. The opportunity came to me and I jumped on it immediately, and I’ve been very impressed with Mike [Hopkins, Hulu’s new CEO].

You’ve worked at some great places that have huge presences digitally, like HBO and Netflix. How have you seen the market change?

I think the biggest thing I’ve seen is that it’s not considered “Internet TV” anymore. It’s really just entertainment you consume in a particular manner. Internet television is what we called it two years ago—everybody expected things to be Internet quality, but I had the opportunity to work on House of Cards and it was similar to what happened with HBO.

And things snowballed.

It took an example to show the public that something delivered through the Internet could be of high quality. It was amazing to be at HBO in those days, too, when the Sopranos and Sex and the City began. I’ve been lucky to land at two great places and now a third.

How do you get the kind of reach on digital that TV enjoys?

We have incredible content now that we maybe haven’t talked about as loudly as we should. Looking back at House of Cards, it was an incredibly well-produced show, it was a serialized drama, it was unlike short-form Web content. It’s going to be based on the content that Craig [Erwich, Hulu’s new head of content] is bringing in. You can’t take a not-great show and hoodwink people. You have to start with great content, and we need to associate that great content with Hulu. We have some work to do to build what the Hulu brand is, to use our content and experience.

How is the marketing itself different from working on traditional TV?

We’ve had this shift in how we think about entertainment marketing. You have all the episodes at once, or maybe they’re available individually for a limited [but longer] amount of time. When you’re opening a movie or starting a TV show, you have a much different model. [At Hulu], you don’t have to be shackled by cancellation or the expectation of putting butts in the theaters.

What’s important to an individual promotional campaign, for you? How much do you need to do traditional ads, and how much do you need to lean on digital?

It’s a big media question and the way I’d answer it is that we’re on a digital platform, so that’s a big piece of it, but outdoor and TV are a very important part of a consumer journey, because we need to build some brand love and a lot of advertising is further down the funnel when you’re online. We spend a lot of time utilizing the online space and social—whether that’s native advertising or PR.

What are you looking forward to in your new gig?

One of the things I’m really excited about at Hulu is being involved in the experience of the product. Wherever [consumers] are in the journey, all the way from the inception through the experience. The other big piece, to me, is being involved in the evolution of how we consume entertainment, and a part of redefining what television means. It’s an incredible, lucky time for a lot of us, but it’s a really amazing thing that we as individuals and as a company have the opportunity to pivot and change and take risks.