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Getting Creative: Q&A with Hulu's Scott Donaton

Late last year, longtime ad industry vet and Brand Storytelling advisory board member Scott Donaton joined the Hulu team, taking up the company’s brand new role as head of creative.

Donaton, whose extensive advertising background and lengthy list of credits have made him an invaluable resource to any and all who work with him, oversees Hulu’s brand marketing efforts across television, digital, social, and in-product assets.

Brand Storytelling caught up with Donaton to learn more about his new gig and how it relates to the ever-changing modern media landscape:

Tell us more about your new role at Hulu? What are you up to?

As Head of Creative at Hulu, the role is to lead our in-house creative teams that produce brand and content marketing programs across all channels, from TV to digital and in-product. I’m also spearheading our efforts to develop custom content opportunities and innovations for our brand partners.

In terms of creative, how much of what you’re overseeing is “traditional” and how much is “branded content”?

Our goal is to have half of our ad revenue come from non-traditional advertising formats in three years. That’s an exciting opportunity to work with our brand partners to dream up new ways to connect and engage with our viewers. Everything at Hulu starts with the viewer, and this is one more expression of that.

How does your new role and work at Hulu relate to the changing media landscape at large?

Streaming is a fundamentally different viewing experience, and we believe the advertising experience in that space also has to be a different one. That’s why we’ve developed innovations such as binge ads and pause ads, and will continue to find new ways to tap into our data and insights about streaming behaviors to surprise and delight our audiences.

What do you think is the future of branded content and branded entertainment?

Honestly, at some point I think we stop labeling these kinds of initiatives and treating them as an alternative marketing format. As we move past the interruptive model, brands should always have the goal of developing stories and creating experiences that are worthy of people’s time. It’s a mindset shift and one that ultimately will put better things out in the world and redefine what advertising and marketing can be.


About Scott Donaton

As Head of Creative, Donaton leads Hulu’s in-house creative teams that produce brand marketing campaigns spanning all channels, including TV, digital, social media and in-product assets. In addition, he leads Hulu’s efforts to develop and execute new creative advertising opportunities for brand partners including custom content both in and outside of the commercial experience.Prior to joining Hulu, Donaton was Global Chief Creative & Content Officer at Digitas, leading the agency's worldwide "connected creative" practice, which includes creative, content, experience design and production. His team of more than 400 creatives developed stories and experiences that are worthy of a person's time and a brand's dollars.Donaton also served as Head of Content for The Americas for Publicis Media and was the chief architect of the Digitas NewFront, the anchor event of the annual NewFront.

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