EXCLUSIVE: Philo, the sports-free streaming bundle that launched nationally a bit more than two years ago, is starting to run its first rolling-stock commercials as part of a new marketing campaign.
Mixing 15-, 30- and 60-second spots across digital and linear platforms, with a focus on major markets like New York, LA and Atlanta, the campaign features the tagline, “Philo is TV. For Everyone.” (Watch an example above.) The ads promote the value proposition of Philo, a $20-a-month offering that includes live feeds of about five dozen networks from Discovery, ViacomCBS, AMC Networks and others.
After ramping up this week, the campaign will continue at least through the first half of 2020.
Philo began as a video offering targeted to college campuses. It launched as a national service in November 2017. Early investors in the company included HBO and Mark Cuban.
As other skinny-bundle services like DirectTV Now (re-branded as AT&T Now) have stumbled, Philo appears to be gaining some traction. The startup, created by Facebook co-founder Andrew McCollum, has not publicly released subscriber totals, but it tells Deadline it saw a 321% jump in paying customers from its first full year on the market in 2018 to 2019. From its first year to its second, the number of minutes watched per month surged 375% and mean hours watched climbed 117%. Streaming starts reached 258 million in 2019, up from 48 million.
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Philo has not deployed a Disney-style, shock-and-awe blitz as it has entered the crowded streaming arena. The company’s marketing efforts thus far have focused on performance media and customer acquisition, with a heavy emphasis on search, social, and connected TV. The aim was to Ads that were more focused on calls to action and product information, but less about evoking emotion.
The commercial’s stop-motion paper effects were created by Art Class, a boutique production company.
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