How ‘Only Rudys in the Building’ reached a whole new audience for Hulu
Hulu and Reach Agency won at The Drum Awards for Social Media 2022 in the Most Effective Use of Video category for ‘Only Rudys In The Hulu Building’. Here, we find out what went into this genre-bending social campaign.
Hulu's 'Only Rudys in the Building' won big at The Drum Awards for Social Media / Credit: Reach Agency / Hulu
The Hulu Originals series Only Murders in the Building became a breakout hit with its skewering of the true crime genre, intricate whodunnit plot, and performances from comedy legends like Steve Martin, Martin Short and Tina Fey. Hoping to spread the serial among gen Z viewers unfamiliar with Martin and Short (and more used to stream binging than weekly drops), Hulu and Reach Agency teamed up with YouTuber Rudy Mancuso with blockbuster social video ‘Only Rudys in the Building’.
Sometimes, truly original content requires an original marketing approach. At least, that’s what Hulu thought when it came to promoting the new original series from Steve Martin and John Hoffman: Only Murders in the Building.
Playfully satirizing the true crime genre and its most avid fans, the series played on the little mysteries and idiosyncrasies of those who live around us, toying with the idea that the ones we’re living closest to can be the people we know least about.
Hulu wanted to reach younger viewers with formats that resonate with them, found in the places they like to go, with this same message.
Working with Reach Agency, Hulu decided to go to younger viewers where they’re most likely to be found: YouTube, one of the only platforms where younger people watch long-form videos.
The promotion faced a few challenges: introducing brand-new IP with no existing track-record; building an entirely new audience in a crowded landscape; a target audience (especially young women) who may not be familiar with most of the stars’ back-catalog; and viewing behavior in that audience that favored binge-watching over weekly serials.
Using Google Insights Finder data, the team decided on a ‘narrative x comedy’ format in the form of an ‘inspired-by’ featurette.
Hulu brought in YouTube star Rudy Mancus for an original post-premiere campaign that would live on Mancuso’s own YouTube channel: ‘Only Rudys in the Building’. A playful treatment of the show’s own murder mystery plot, the video centers around a mystery in Mancuso’s own building: a nefarious plot to get a group of neighbors (all of them played by Mancuso) to attend a birthday party.
The video’s stats are hugely impressive: going out to Mancuso’s 7.5 million followers, it racked up 6.5m views, 11m impressions, and a view-through rate of over 50%.
Sentiment on the video was over 90% positive – 15x higher than averages in media and entertainment. It also saw a jump in viewership of Only Murders in the Building, helping it establish the series as the number-one comedy on Hulu.