Hulu introduces its viewer-friendly ‘binge-watch advertisements’

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Hulu on mobile I iTMunch

Hulu is starting a new kind of ad experience that enables brands to specifically target binge-watchers — that is, viewers who are seeing various episodes of a favorite program over a long period. 

How Does This Work?

These “binge-watch ads” use machine learning methods to predict when a viewer has started to binge-watch a show, then works up contextually relevant ads that acknowledge a binge is initiated. 

This ends when the viewer arrives in the third episode, at which point they are informed that the following episode is ad-free or offers a personalized proposal from the brand partner.

The binge-watch ad idea was first announced at Hulu’s yearly NewFronts presentation in May, where it displays to advertisers its latest shows, features, and ad formats. 

The company continually experiments with new advertising setups designed to better provide to a streaming audience in a limited obtrusive way. 

For instance, Hulu previously offers “pause ads,” which only arise when the viewer clicks on the pause button.

Hulu states it made sense to aim for binge-watchers because binging is presently such a normal way for people to view their favorite shows. 

Currently, 75% of U.S. customers say they binge-watch, and on Hulu mainly, nearly 50% of ad-supported viewing hours are consumed during binge-watch sessions. 

Hulu describes a “binge” as a viewer seeing three or more episodes of a series at a provided time.

The Debut Advertisers 

The debut advertisers to obtain on the current binge-watch ad format involve Kellogg’s, Maker’s Mark, and Georgia-Pacific, by way of Hulu’s private launch agency associate, Publicis Media.

Kellogg’s will be promoting Cheez-It Snap’d snacks as their binge ads, while Georgia Pacific will promote its Sparkle paper towels. 

Marker’s Mark, will, of course, support its bourbon.

The brands state that they were drawn in the current format because it provides them a way to communicate and reward the consumer during a marathon entertainment session.

Moreover, it is a more suitable fit for how today’s customers watch TV. 

Thanks to the growth of ad-free subscription video services like Netflix, viewers are less sensitive to disruptive advertising that disrupts their viewing. 

They can also turn on a brand when its ad frequently plays throughout the viewing session.

Giving brands the capability to sponsor an episode, ad-free instead produces more positive feelings among viewers.

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