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Hulu Ups Creative Ad Options That Engage Viewers

Fern Siegel

Hulu has revamped its advertising. The streamer is offering new options for 2020.

Viewers can have more input in the ads that play, say choosing a beach vacation ad from a travel company. Or, they can engage with the brand advertising — either by using QR codes or getting information sent to their phones, like a link that takes viewers to a retailer’s site.

TechCrunch reports Hulu is even contemplating product insertion within its original shows. That could mean inserting a product on a table in its Hulu Kitchen series, even if it’s not actually there.

Ad-friendly Hulu, owned by Disney, is trying different formats to enhance its revenue base.

In an effort make ads more engaging, the streamer is also showing pause ads, that pop up during streaming breads, and binge-watch ads, in which brands sponsor ad-free episodes when the streamer realizes binge-viewing is underway.

Jeremy Helfand, vice president-head of advertising platforms at Hulu, told a CES audience that the streamer has a “viewer-first advertising promise: less disruptive, more engaging, and more functional.” The new ads will improve the advertisers’ ROI.

“But there’s also a number of third parties — there’s a whole ad technology industry that’s emerging about being able to do things like that — and we’re looking at partners, as well,” he said.