Hulu – Interactive Advertising

I was fortunate enough today to attend the 3rd annual Digital Non Conference here in Cincinnati, a two day event focused on digital marketing and social media. One of the breakout sessions I attended was on online video, where Kevin McGurn from Hulu spoke about many of the advertising tactics Hulu uses to keep both advertisers and users happy. I’ve been a fan of the concept of Hulu since I heard about it in 2008, however I’ve never personally used it all that much. Recording shows on my Tivo, or streaming movies over Netflix, has always suited my family’s needs. But now I feel I need to get back into Hulu just to keep up with the latest online video advertising trends. They’re doing some cool stuff.

What jumped out at me the most was the interactive, adaptive ad feedback Hulu has incorporated into many of their video streams. While not a new concept, Hulu’s is the first implementation of this idea that I think really hits the nail on the head. Apart from their own demographic analysis, you also get to give feedback telling Hulu what ads you feel are relevant.

Some attendees in the breakout were concerned about privacy, but I think it’s a great example of a win-win for both advertisers and consumers. While people love to hate commercials/ads, if they were consistently more relevant users might be more receptive to the commercial interruptions. Regardless, I’m going to be watching this more closely from here on out, and I would suggest that media planners and strategists do the same.

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