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Tubi Launches ‘Not on Netflix’ Ad Campaign Featuring Terrence Howard, Chris Noth and More

Todd Spangler

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Tubi wants America to know: It has thousands of movies and TV shows available to stream for free — including many titles that aren’t on Netflix.

The ad-supported VOD company is launching a new branding campaign that kicks off Monday, Nov. 18, and will run for six weeks.

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For the campaign, Tubi tapped seven celebs — Terrence Howard, Chris Noth, Carmen Electra, Nicole Scherzinger (lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls), Robin Thicke, and Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph of “The Bachelor” fame — who are featured in spots in which they confess to a therapist their agony about the flood of subscription-video options available. Naturally, they all find a happy, cost-free solution in Tubi.

“This is the perfect time to be talking about free AVOD – the streaming wars are in full swing,” said Tubi VP of marketing Emily Jordan. “Subscription fatigue is really setting in.”

While targeted at Netflix, Tubi’s campaign more broadly aims to tap into agita over the whole SVOD category, including Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, and WarnerMedia’s forthcoming HBO Max.

In Howard’s spot, he’s a method actor reading a script for “Streaming Wars: The Movie” and is haunted by his past roles as a streaming subscriber before he discovers Tubi. Noth explains that “HBO was my first love” (he played Mr. Big on “Sex and the City”) but decides to break up and turn to the free Tubi.

The other spots have Carmen Electra analyzing her commitment issues; Nicole Scherzinger avoiding drama; Robin Thicke overcoming everyone wanting a piece of him; and Colton Underwood exploring something “on the side” — with Cassie encouraging it.

Each of the six video spots end with a clip of the Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha” (“Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”). They’ll run as paid ads on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well as through media buys on connected-TV platforms including Amazon Fire TV and Roku. However, Tubi isn’t buying any ads on TV networks. The campaign also includes billboards in New York and Los Angeles directing people to notonnetflix.com, and the company is conducting media tours with Noth and Electra.

The new campaign follows Tubi’s first branding campaign in August, which included billboards in several major markets and online ads. Jordan declined to say how much Tubi is spending on the latest campaign but said it’s in the seven figures and is double what the company spent on the August run.

As far as singling out Netflix, they’re the obvious target as the market leader in the subscription VOD category. Tubi has long had a “Not on Netflix” section of its service that reinforces that point.

“We’ve always seen ourselves as a complement to Netflix,” Jordan said. “We are not competing with them.”

Among the movies and TV shows on Tubi’s “Not on Netflix” list: “How to Train Your Dragon,” “White Chicks,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “The Wood,” “Hoarders,” “13 Going on 30,” “Little Women: Atlanta,” “The Nut Job” and “Fifty Shades of Black.”

In June, Tubi claimed it had surpassed 20 million monthly active users. Earlier this year, Tubi said it planned to spend more than $100 million on content in 2019.

Currently, Tubi’s service is available in the U.S., Canada and Australia, with a U.K. launch set for 2020. The AVOD service is accessible via a range of platforms including the web, Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku, iOS and Android, Chromecast, Samsung televisions, Xbox and PlayStation consoles, Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex, and Cox’s Contour.

Here’s a mockup of Tubi’s LAX ad:

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