Hulu Uses Anonymous Secrets App As A Branded Content Platform

Hulu Uses Anonymous Secrets App As A Branded Content Platform

Whisper users promote an original series with their secret confessions.

Ross Brooks
  • 13 march 2014

Deadbeat is an original series from Hulu about an NYC resident who talks with ghosts, and helps them take care of unfinished business. Whisper is an app that lets users post anonymous messages about their deepest secrets, biggest regrets, and strangest desires. Put the two together and you’ve got a unique branded marketing campaign that could demonstrate the potential of the platform.

Whisper features pictures that have been combined with personal messages, none of which can be traced back to a person’s real identity. Whether it’s the quiet work of brands, or just enthusiastic fans, there are already messages related to fast food companies, soft drinks, movies and other products on the platform.

“We have always believed that Whisper would be a great content marketing and brand storytelling platform,” said Mike Downey, Whisper’s Head of Business Development. “People whisper about their favorite movies, shows and brands all the time. It can be some of our best content.”

Whisper will identify users based on specific keywords, and offer them images from Deadbeat that can be used as the inspiration for messages related to the show, and the topic of unfinished business. Users will know which Whispers have come from Hulu thanks to an embedded Deadbeat logo.


Apart from the fact Eric Yellin, Hulu’s former VP of Marketing, left to join the startup earlier this year, it’s also clear that Deadbeat and Whisper draw on similar themes, which makes them well-suited to each other. The messaging platform is still unclear how it will allow companies to advertise, but a couple of ideas include seeding sponsored Whispers to encourage conversation, and offering images for users to add to their posts.

There’s clearly some potential there, and the Deadbeat marketing effort will be a good way to see what does and doesn’t work. From there, Whisper can work on offering a more specific way for brands to advertise on the platform, and hopefully engage a more secretive segment of the market.

Deadbeat // Whisper
Source: AdWeek

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