Morning Brew - ☕ Booksmart

Why Hulu is working with Barnes & Noble.
November 03, 2023

Marketing Brew


We made it to Friday. Last night, one-time crypto wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy, leading us to conclude that his efforts to rebrand in the courtroom with a closely cropped haircut didn’t have much of an effect.

In today’s edition:

—Kelsey Sutton, Ryan Barwick, Alyssa Meyers


Hit the books

a still from the Hulu original series "Black Cake" depicting character Covey running in a white wedding dress James Van Evers/Hulu

For most viewers in the US, the Hulu drama series Black Cake wasn’t available on the streaming service until this week. But some bookworms got a slice of the show a few weeks early.

The first two episodes of the Hulu original, an adaptation of the 2022 best-selling debut novel by Charmaine Wilkerson, became available on October 22 for members of Barnes & Noble Premium, a $39.99-a-year membership that comes with perks like discounts and free shipping.

The early-episode release—which came ahead of the three-episode premiere on Nov. 1—is part of a broader partnership between the Disney-owned streamer, which at the beginning of July had 48.3 million subscribers, and the book retailer, which operates around 600 stores in the US and is the largest retail bookseller in the world. As part of the tie-up, Barnes & Noble is highlighting various book-to-Hulu-series adaptations, including Black Cake, Zakiya Dalila Harris’s The Other Black Girl, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Sally Rooney’s Normal People.

The growing partnership between the two brands is designed to help feed fandom of both books and TV alike, and help both companies boost their businesses, Adia Matthews, Hulu’s VP of brand partnerships and synergy, told Marketing Brew.

“Here’s a story that I love—let me go stream it on Hulu. Or vice versa: I’ve streamed it on Hulu, I want to dig deeper—let me go and get the book,” Matthews said. “It goes both ways.”

Continue reading here.—KS



New brand, who dis?


Rebranding is a layered process. If you asked 10 different people about the best rollout strategy, you’d probably hear 10 different perspectives. With Frontify, you can get answers from experts covering every segment of the process.

Their guide, Going global: Rolling out a worldwide rebrand, features insights from across the rebranding board. We’re talkin’ intel from creative agencies, brands that have recently rebranded, and Frontify’s own experts.

The guide uncovers 3 common methods for introducing a global rebrand, plus strategies for launching internally. You’ll learn how to leverage technology in the process, and how to distribute your new brand guidelines + brand assets.

Get the perspective you need to make the most of your brand’s new look and strategies. Grab your global rebrand guide.


Block party

animated image of YouTube The_believer_art/Getty Images

Ad blockers that previously worked on YouTube are heading to the software farm upstate.

Google has begun a “global effort” to crack down on tools that let users bypass advertising, YouTube Ads communications manager Christopher Lawton told Marketing Brew.

The crackdown, which was first reported by Android Authority, means that video playback may be blocked entirely after three videos if the user does not agree to allow ads. “It looks like you may be using an ad blocker,” reads a message that appears when using an ad blocker and trying to watch videos on the site, The Verge reported. “Video playback is blocked unless YouTube is allowlisted or the ad blocker is disabled.”

The message goes on to suggest viewers try YouTube Premium, the company’s ad-free subscription service that costs $13.99 a month.

“The use of ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service,” Lawton told Marketing Brew in an emailed statement. “We’ve launched a global effort to urge viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.”

Read more here.—RB



Super sale

a TV screen that says "Back After The Break" in front of a football field Francis Scialabba

Still hoping to snap up a Super Bowl ad slot for 2024? You’re probably out of luck.

CBS Sports is “virtually sold out” of ad inventory for the game, according to Bridget Darcey, a spokesperson for parent company Paramount. It’s unusually early for a network to sell out of Super Bowl inventory: In 2022, NBCU said it sold out just 10 days before the game, and CBS said it was on a similar time frame in 2021.

Saw the sign: It started to become apparent even over the summer that Super Bowl 58 would be a hot commodity. By late August, CBS Sports had announced it was 90% sold out of that inventory. John Bogusz, EVP of CBS sports sales at Paramount Advertising, said at the time that the network was “anxious to sell” the rest of its inventory, but that “it’s going to come at a price.”

CBS was looking for anywhere from $6.5 million to $7 million for a 30-second commercial, Variety reported. Some 30-second slots for the last Super Bowl sold for more than $7 million, according to Bloomberg, with Fox ultimately racking up about $600 million in ad revenue for the event, which broke viewership records.

Kids’ corner: The upcoming Super Bowl is getting an alternative broadcast on Nickelodeon geared toward kids and families, marking the first time the game of the year will have an altcast on a network other than the one that holds the rights. (Like CBS, Nickelodeon is also owned by Paramount.)

Advertisers who bought Super Bowl inventory will get access to both feeds. While some marketers are eager about the possibility of new audiences, others we spoke to weren’t quite convinced that altcasts are always a good idea.

Keep reading here.—AM




How a powerhouse plans. Finding yourself in a multi-spreadsheet planning nightmare? HubSpot marketing has the inside scoop on handling operational planning—and how pivotal software like Uptempo helped them do it. See how HubSpot navigates the planning process at the upcoming free webinar + Q&A on Nov. 15.


French press Morning Brew

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

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a pillar with a few pieces of paper and a green pencil on top of it Morning Brew

Stories we’re jealous of.

  • Rolling Stone reported that HBO CEO and chairman Casey Bloys directed employees to use fake Twitter accounts to fire back at TV critics.
  • The Cut profiled Emma and Jens Grede, the husband-and-wife team behind Kardashian family brands like Skims and Good American.
  • The Atlantic wrote about the proliferation of junk products across the internet.


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