The ‘Gong Show’ for Ads

Hulu launches ad swap button

Hulu is big on choice. The company was the first to approach pre-roll ads like a "choose your own adventure" style interactive game, allowing users to pick which of three "ad experiences" they wanted to sit through before streaming a TV show.

Today, in an announcement made at the IAB MIXX conference as part of Advertising Week, the company took it one step further. Don't like an ad? Swap it for another one. The functionality, the company says, allows users to feel more in control of their advertising experience. They must still endure a full 30 seconds of advertising, but with Hulu Ad Swap, they feel like the driver, said J.P. Colaco, svp of advertising at the company.

Advertisers don't pay for the impression if their ad has been vetoed, and users are two times more likely to remember an ad they swapped to, according to an effectiveness study conducted by Hulu. Of course, the jury is out on how this may affect ad creative. If the Gong Show is any indication, users may want to brace themselves for some ADD-addled pre-roll.