With a flood of new tech purchases and connected device setups, streamers are betting that the holiday season is an ideal opportunity to win over new customers. That’s why Pluto TV and Amazon Fire TV teamed up on a one-of-a-kind sweepstakes promotion starring David Hasselhoff.
Through mid-December, the Baywatch star will be featured in a wacky faux infomercial for the ViacomCBS-owned free streamer, featuring the actor playing multiple roles. But wait, there’s more: The service is also encouraging viewers to enter a sweepstakes to win a free Amazon Fire TV device.
A total of 1,000 Amazon fire TV devices will be given out over the course of the sweepstakes, which ends Dec. 19.
It’s a unique partnership between the two companies, who are teaming up to encourage more ad-supported streaming on connected devices. This year, ad-supported app hours on Amazon Fire TVs grew by more than 100%, said Mary Sagripanti, director of Fire TV sales and marketing. Pluto TV is one of the top free apps on Fire TV and has its programming weaved across the Fire TV interface, making the partnership a perfect fit.
“That massive spike tells us that there’s an opportunity to work together to do even more,” Sagripanti said. “That’s why we’re thrilled to work with Pluto TV’s incredible marketing team on this new campaign. It’s a great way to educate potential new streamers about the benefits of ad-supported content and Fire TV while also entertaining them.”
The campaign was developed by Pluto TV Creative, the streamer’s in-house marketing team, and co-produced with Jonas&co, and both companies signed off on the creative after Pluto brought the infomercial idea to the Fire TV team. Hasselhoff, whose ’80s and ’90s shows like Baywatch are a staple on some Pluto channels, offered up an idea that ended up carrying the creative.
“Originally, we planned to shoot David as the host and eight other actors for the character parts, but he suggested playing all of the characters, which we thought was hilarious,” said Fran Hazeldine, Pluto TV’s svp, marketing. “The multi-Hoff concept also made total sense in a Covid production context.”
The entire spot came together in a few months’ time—“it was a sprint,” Hazeldine said—after briefing a team of writers about the idea in early September and filming in the last week of October. The infomercial hearkens back to classic TV, allowing Pluto to brand-build by “keeping Pluto weird”—and fun.
“By spoofing the infomercial format, we were able to have some fun with retro TV references in a way we knew our audience would appreciate, but also celebrate what they enjoy about classic TV content and advertising,” Hazeldine said. “Ultimately, it’s a loving tribute to TV past, present and future.”
The full infomercial is seeded on BuzzFeed, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram through the end of the year, and will run as preroll ads on YouTube on connected TVs through the end of the year. Minute-long cuts will also run on linear cable TV through the second week of December, and will air on connected TV platforms through the end of the year. Fire TV is also amplifying the campaign on its own channels, Sagripanti said.
The infomercial promotion and giveaway comes on the heels of another big push from Pluto TV, which last month debuted a by-the-numbers campaign highlighting the programming options across the streamer and earlier this year raised the curtain on a Drop In brand campaign encouraging people to watch whenever they want. The service notched 28.4 million domestic monthly active users as of last quarter, and is aiming to clear 30 million domestic MAUs before the end of the year, ViacomCBS said in its most recent quarterly earnings.