Hulu Launches Ad Swap: Don’t Like A Video Ad? Swap It For Another!

By Megan O'Neill 

Hulu has made a name for itself as King of video ads, continuously ranking at the top of comScore’s online video rankings in terms of ads viewed.  Hulu ads are twice as effective as television ads and part of the reason for this is that the online video site gives viewers quite a bit of control over their video ad experience.  They’ve asked viewers to let them know whether ads are relevant for them, have let viewers select the type of ad they’d like to see and now they’ve launched a new ad innovation—Hulu Ad Swap.

The concept behind Hulu Ad Swap is simple.  If a viewer starts watching an advertisement and finds it to be irrelevant, they can swap out of the ad for one that is more up their alley.  JP Colaco, SVP of Advertising at Hulu, explains how Ad Swap works on the Hulu blog:

“When an ad begins to play, a user can click on the Hulu Ad Swap icon in the top left corner of the player and bring up a number of ad choices, customized to that user’s profile and previous ad viewing preferences.  At this point, the user can select a more relevant ad from the available choices.

“The advertiser whose ad initially began to play is not charged for that impression.  This is a win-win scenario for both the user, and for the advertiser.  The user now has ultimate control over their ad experience and the advertiser does not have to pay for an impression that would have been wasted.”

The company reports that they’ve bee testing out Hulu Ad Swap for the past few months and that they’ve found that the new feature has a significant impact on the effectiveness of ads.  They report that unaided brand recall improved by 93 percent, brand favorability by 27 percent, purchase intent by 35 percent and stated relevancy by 46 percent.

According to their blog, one user said that, “It was pretty fun when the commercial would start and you knew you could change it if you wanted to.  I kinda looked forward to it.”  I don’t know if I would say that the opportunity to swap ads would make me look forward to the experience—after all, they are still advertisements.  That being said, I may not dread the Hulu ad break so much knowing that I had a bit more control over the ads I was exposed to.  What do you think?  Check out the following video and share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.