Hulu Sees a Robust Future in Interactive Connected TV Ads

Hulu sees itself as an innovator in video ad products, and aims to continue that tradition with interactive CTV ads that engage the viewer with story and choice.

The subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service already offers a branded entertainment selector and ad selector, both of which operate by letting viewers choose the ad they want to see.

Hulu“We’re very cognitive of the fact that we have a unique viewing experience,” explained Julie DeTraglia, vice president and head of research for Hulu, in an interview with “We want the advertising experience to really be a part of that. And that’s why we’ve offered up these ad products that allow for that same type of choice. What we’ve found is that when you give people that choice, first of all it’s not something they necessarily get asked anyplace else so they like having the ability to say ‘I’ll take this over that.’ And they feel like the ads are more relevant and targeted to them because we have the ability to do that as well.”

At this year’s Hulu NewFront, the company announced it would bring T-commerce to the living room with interactive ads that let viewers buy movie tickets through their TVs. Now Hulu will push that experience into new product categories. With shorter ad breaks and more relevant ads, Hulu tries to create a better ad experience than broadcast and cable can provide.

“When you add choice and interactivity to all of that what you get is lifts across all key branding metrics, and that’s the kind of work we’ve been doing for a long time,” DeTraglia says. “And it’s always been really consistent: The more we add to that, the more success that we see.”

Hulu is now experimenting with creative length, and is happy to take any length ad the buyer wants. The company has learned that ads with a storytelling element earn higher engagement rates. Viewers are used to interactivity on desktops and phones, but it’s still a novelty on the TV.

“That’s a little bit more nascent in the living room, but I think it’s just as interesting to consumers to be able to see something and rather than have to go to some other device and find it, they can get more information about it right through the living room screen,” DeTraglia says.

Packing more information into an ad unit leads to higher retention as viewers explore the offering. Hulu is the first to bring this new element to the living room.

“Any measure of involvement and a longer touchpoint with the consumer is really valuable to the advertiser, and it means the viewers are engaged with Hulu overall so it’s valuable to us, as well,” DeTraglia says.

For more from Hulu, watch the full interview below (used with permission).


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