Is Tubi Popular?


Given how generally unlovable TV commercials have become these days, it’s remarkable how utterly weird and creepy, but uniquely self-possessed, Tubi’s new “More Popular Than” ad campaign is. 

Dark, funny, debased and databased, the ads are in a category of their own -- all about viewership numbers, presented through outlandishly illogical data comparisons. And yet, the wildly dressed-up and energetic comic spots, via Mischief@No Fixed Address, break through to consumers.

Of course, it’s not the first time that ads for Tubi, the Fox-owned free streaming service trying to compete with giants like Netflix, have outflanked the big boys.

 “Tubi is one of the fastest growing streamers in the U.S., surpassing many of the more established companies in entertainment, yet advertisers still see us as a challenger brand,” said Nicole Parlapiano, CMO at Tubi  in a release. “Numbers don’t mean much without context, so we made the size of our audience feel tangible by comparing our viewership to dozens of common things.”



 Last month, The Effie Awards U.S. bestowed its highest honor, the Grand Effie, to Tubi, for its 2023 Super Bowl work featuring a combination of a long-form “Rabbit Holes” spot and the 15-second “Interface Interruption” ad.

“Interface Interruption” probably resulted in millions of guacamole -and -other-substance-fueled viewers at Super Bowl parties suddenly at each other’s throats, wondering who sat on the remote, as they tried to grasp why they were missing the game while their screens were stuck in the Tubi app.

It was a brain-buster and a breakthrough creatively, playing with perception on the biggest ad day of the year.

The out-of-nowhere disruption allowed Tubi to become the biggest trending brand on X and almost doubled brand awareness. Thus, as subscriber numbers rose, the agency could move on to the “more popular campaign” in which they can claim that Tubi is “more popular than France.”

That's the statement one billboard makes, showing a woman’s head from the back as she puts on a giant red beret. It claims that since France has only 68 million residents to Tubi's 75 million users, Tubi is more popular.  Do you illogically hate France? This is the billboard for you. 

The campaign includes OOH, social media, and four videos, directed by Andreas Nilsson of Biscuit Filmworks. He brings his signature inspired, oddball casting, and a surrealist, Salvador Dali-esque feeling to the proceedings, a great corollary to the suspect math equations involved.

And  I doff my beret to “Babies,” probably the only 30-second spot in history that combines poop jokes, Jean Piaget’s theory of object permanence in infants, and a terrifying latter-day Liberace.

It is based on the highly debatable point that Tubi is “more popular than babies.”  

Open on a guy with an insanely wide-eyed grin, oversized, gleaming white veneers, and a strawberry- blonde haired flip, wearing a three-piece white tux, playing a white piano in  his white shoes in a white room strewn with adorable diaper-wearing babies crawling around a white rug.

 In one of the faultiest dialectics of all time, Tubi compares its own 75 million -plus monthly users to the 4 million babies currently living in the U.S.

“Tubi is more popular than locking eyes with someone while you poop your pants, the narrator announces, “more popular than having no concept of object permanence.”

Another video is even darker, which I love. Titled “Tubi: More popular than divorce,” the ad definitively states that the streaming service’s 75 million monthly users are more than the 29 million people who get divorced every year.

We see a couple through a sliding door screaming at each other, including, from the woman, “I haven’t respected you since the hair transplant!”  The camera pulls back to show a sad, free-style waterfall-like growth on the future ex-husband’s head. “Tubi is more popular than things you say that you can never take back,” the narrator says.

Then there’s the only line that is undeniably true, “Tubi. It’s more popular than divorce,” as we see the future ex-wife stabbing her ex’s face in a happy couple painting of them.

It's brutal, but so good. Sometimes you have to go to the dark to show the light.


2 comments about "Is Tubi Popular?".
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  1. Thomas Siebert from BENEVOLENT PROPAGANDA, June 11, 2024 at 10:54 a.m.

    Tubi will pass skidmark Disney+ any day now, knocking the free-fallin' rat kingdom's pedo-propaganda platform out of the top five, LOL.

  2. Artie White from Zoom Media Corp replied, June 11, 2024 at 11:21 a.m.

    Disney+ currently has ~153MM subscribers compared to Tubi's 75MM, owns billions of dollars in established IP, and has a completely different content strategy. But, sure, keep telling yourself that. Also the article you linked is over a year old, "LOL."

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