Hulu Promotes Stephen King/J.J. Abrams in Creepy Super Bowl Ad

Ad Is Teaser for Upcoming 'Castle Rock' Thriller

Published On
Feb 01, 2018

Editor's Pick

The TV network that airs the Super Bowl in any given year doesn't let rival broadcasters buy big-game time to promote their newest series. Yet, in the last several years, they have opened their doors to streaming video platforms, who are arguably bigger threats, to advertise original series.

Hulu and Amazon's Prime Video will both use NBC's airwaves on Sunday to promote upcoming series during the game. It is unclear whether Netflix will join them, after running its first Super Bowl ad last year to promote "Stranger Things."

The Super Bowl networks apparently view streaming services much the same way they see cable networks, which they occasionally let advertise in the game. The History Channel, for example, was able to promote "Swamp People" in 2012 ("This Is Your Boss").

Hulu on Sunday will run a 30-second teaser for "Castle Rock," based on Stephen King novels and produced by J.J. Abrams. The 10-episode psychological thriller will premiere this summer. Amazon Prime is promoting its "Jack Ryan" series, based on the books by Tom Clancy.

The Hulu spot, which will air in the second quarter as the game heads into halftime, was created in-house.

Last year, Hulu used the Super Bowl, which aired on Fox, to promote is critically acclaimed drama "The Handmaid's Tale." Its earlier Super Bowl ads, before it had much original programming to speak of, talked up the service in general with pitchmen Alec Baldwin ("Alec in Huluwood") and Will Arnett ("Huluboratory").

Earlier this week, Amazon said it would run its first Super Bowl spot for Prime Video and the original series its Tom Clancy series, "Jack Ryan."