With the rise in streaming services, a new medium known as OTT (over-the-top) advertising now allows brands to reach their audiences while they stream shows and movies. OTT advertising is advertising delivered directly to viewers over the internet through streaming services or devices, such as smart TVs. One of the most popular streaming services is Hulu. 

If you are new to OTT, check out “What Is OTT Advertising: A Beginner’s Guide” for more information.

In the following article, we will cover:

  • What is Hulu?

  • How to advertise on Hulu

  • Ad Types Available on Hulu

What is Hulu?

Hulu has over 32 million subscribers . That means that advertisers have access to 83 million viewers via Hulu’s ad-supported on-demand offering Hulu also collected $1.5 billion in advertising revenue in 2018 — more than HGTV and the Food Network!

OTT advertising is here to stay, and Hulu has the largest Streaming TV library, with live, Original, and on-demand content available at your fingertips. As the first platform to introduce viewer-first advertising innovations, like the industry’s first interactive ad formats, Hulu continues to give viewers choice and control over their ad experience. 

hulu advertising

Source: Hulu Advertising

Hulu has its very own ad platform that includes a robust set of options for bidding, targeting, measurement, as well as different ad experiences. 

How to advertise on Hulu

Here’s what you need to know to advertise on Hulu, from buying and targeting to measurement and optimization.

Ad buying and audience targeting on Hulu

Hulu offers several advertising reach options for brands:

  1. National: Reach viewers across the US
  2. Local: Reach a localized target audience
  3. Advanced TV: Automated, data-informed ad buys

Within the Advanced TV category, Hulu has 3 different bidding options:

  • Programmatic Guaranteed: Automated, guaranteed buy with advanced targeting.
  • Private Marketplace: Non-guaranteed buy with increased targeting control.
  • Invite-Only Auction: Find your audience, set your price, and optimize from within your DSP

In Hulu’s invite-only auction, advertisers select their target audience, determine their bid price for that audience, and control and optimize their ad campaigns in real-time based on results and performance. You can learn more about Hulu’s advanced targeting options here.  

*Ad Types Available on Hulu

Hulu offers what they call “a viewer-first ad experience” made up of a variety of different ad products and solutions, including:

Video Commercial: “The Video Commercial includes placement of your advertiser’s video creative into any one of Hulu’s standard long-form content commercial breaks.” Hulu allows 7-, 15- and 30-second video commercials. 

Ad Selector: “The Ad Selector allows the user to control their ad experience by choosing the ad they want to see. The user will be presented with two or three video options. Once a selection is made, the user will be presented with the commercial of their choice.” According to Hulu, their ad selector is 150% more effective than regular TV ads at developing recall and 24% better at creating an intent to purchase in viewers. 

Branded Entertainment Selector (BES): “The Branded Entertainment Selector (BES) allows the user to control their ad experience by choosing whether to watch a long-form commercial or to view the show with standard commercial breaks.”

Branded Slate: “A branded slate is a custom title card that appears in premium positioning before video creative in the first pod before the beginning of a show. The advertiser’s brand logo is shown with “Presented by” intro text and Hulu-provided voiceover audio.”

Binge Ad:Hulu’s Binge Ads enable marketers to deliver contextually and situationally-relevant messages at the right time and place – during a viewer’s binge session. It also allows brands to create and own a positive, entertaining viewer experience that compliments bingeing and reduces ad fatigue.

GatewayGo (beta): Combining Hulu’s traditional living room video ads with action-oriented prompts and personalized offers, the GatewayGo ad unit allows brands to get significantly closer to their conversion goals with Streaming TV by shifting conversion actions from the TV to mobile.

Cover Story Brand Placement: “The Cover Story Brand Placement offers advertising clients the opportunity to integrate their branding with Hulu’s homepage.”

Pause Ad: “Hulu’s Pause Ad is a non-disruptive, non-intrusive user-initiated ad experience that appears when a viewer presses pause when watching content.”

Interactive Living Room: “Interactive video formats foster greater affinity with a brand using customizable interactivity that can inform viewers about a brand’s latest products, features, and services.”

*Note: The ad units mentioned are almost exclusively available via guaranteed IOs (national or local) and not the audience-driven methods.

Hulu ad measurement and optimization 

Hulu offers advertisers measurement and attribution for their campaigns. Hulu’s attribution capabilities let advertisers measure brand lift and direct ROI and business outcomes across QSR, retail, ecommerce, tune-in, automotive, and CPG categories. Hulu also partners with third-party providers to verify audience data and viewership measures.

hulu tv ad

According to Hulu, advertising on Hulu is effective “across the purchase funnel — from awareness to purchasing intent… Not only do ads on Hulu solidify your message in the minds of consumers, but also help drive sales as well.” For every dollar invested on Hulu, advertisers see a reported return on ad spend (ROAS) of 45%.

“Hulu is a valued partner for Tinuiti’s direct and audience first, programmatic approaches to OTT / Connected TV. Hulu, and the broader OTT landscape, is an advertising channel that has scale, is targetable, and measurable: the three components required for performance marketing. The channel represents the opportunity to truly connect with high-value audiences and grow your business via sight, sound, and motion messaging, with sound on, and with 100% share of the largest screen in the house.”

Jesse Math, VP Client Strategy, Planning and Platforms; OTT Lead at Tinuiti

If you’re interested in advertising on OTT/Streaming TV, check out Tinuiti’s OTT advertising services.

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