Let’s be honest, most people get annoyed when they’re forced to watch an ad while they’re streaming videos. However, a few weeks ago, Hulu unveiled a solution to disrupting people while in the midst of binge-watching a TV series. The solution which Hulu has described as a “non-intrusive, viewer-initiated” ad unit is an advertisement that only plays when the viewer pauses whatever they’re watching.
Currently, the media platform is testing this new approach with Coca-Cola and Charmin, with an aim to make it generally available for select content by the next quarter. This approach to advertising is a general reflection of the shift in the way people consume media with the growing popularity of streaming video. If you’re involved in marketing, here are a few things you should know about this new approach to advertising:
Consumers preferred the non-intrusive approach
According to Jeremy Helfand, Hulu’s vice president and head of advertising platforms, research showed “consumers generally preferred ads that were subtle and non-intrusive, and that extensive audio and video was considered disruptive”. Helfand noted that these insights informed Hulu’s approach to ‘pause’ ads.
Helfand further stated, “Just as consumers’ viewing habits have evolved, their expectations for advertising have also changed. Viewers no longer accept an irrelevant, intrusive ad experience and appreciate when brands tell their stories in authentic and integrated ways. To stand out and continue engaging their target audiences, brands must rise to the challenge and flex their creative muscle to go beyond the traditional commercial break.”
Creating brand affinity means putting the consumer first
Marketing and advertising have been evolving into something that is more focused on the consumer, their needs and their experience. The industry is moving away from ‘in your face’ advertising and that’s what consumers are responding positively to. It seems like Hulu has been taking notes and created an advertising experience that puts the consumer in the driver’s seat.
Ads which are viewed as less intrusive are obviously something worth exploring further.
Consumers are suffering from ad fatigue
Consumers are inundated with ads everywhere and a major complaint from viewers is that sometimes it’s the same ad being repeated over and over again at each interval.
Jackie Pecquex, digital media manager at ad agency KW2, says Hulu’s approach can be useful in fighting ad fatigue.
“Static ads help by adding another (less intrusive) ad unit for advertisers. People complain less about banner frequency than video,” said Pecquex. “There are a lot of ad frequency complaints with OTT, so introducing static placements is a smart move for building scale and mitigating those frequency concerns.”