Advertising, Connected TV

Hulu Advertising in 2024: The Complete Guide for Marketers

Hulu Advertising in 2024: The Complete Guide for Marketers

7 Min Read

As of 2022, Hulu was the third most popular streaming service in the United States. It’s also the top ad-supported streaming platform. With a broad reach and a variety of targeting options available, Hulu can connect your brand with more people who are likely to buy your products or services. Hulu lets you target your audience based on demographics, location, and interests, pairing your ads with the content your customers are watching. If you’re not advertising on Hulu, you could be missing out on millions of potential customers.

Note: MNTN does not offer Hulu inventory, so this article is purely informational.

What Is Hulu Advertising? 

Hulu advertising involves creating non-skippable ads that are shown to customers as they watch shows and movies on the streaming platform. It’s a type of over-the-top (OTT) advertising that allows advertisers to target Hulu audiences based on demographics, location, and interests. Hulu lets people stream TV shows, movies, and original content on smart TVs, phones, computers, and other connected devices. Although Hulu offers an ad-free subscription option, some of its on-demand and live content requires the platform to play a short ad before and after an episode anyway.

How Does Hulu Advertising Work?

You can advertise on Hulu using the self-service Ad Manager. To get started, you need to sign your business up and determine where you want to advertise. Disney bought a majority stake in Hulu in 2019, which means you can also advertise on Disney+, ESPN+, and other networks, depending on your account level.

Once you have an account, you can create and post ads through Ad Manager. 

Benefits of Hulu Advertising

There are 48.3 million active Hulu subscribers as of 2023. With ad pricing starting at a minimum of $500 per campaign, Hulu offers an affordable option to small businesses that want to reach viewers with their products and services. Hulu shows a variety of ads to viewers rather than repeating the same ones, which makes these ads more engaging and encourages users to watch them. According to the company, Hulu ads are 73% more effective than social media ads, giving you more value for your money.

Hulu Ad Manager, Explained

Hulu’s Ad Manager is a self-service tool that gives you total control over your ads. After creating an account, you can use it to set budgets, choose your ad targets, and pick your placements. Ad Manager offers in-depth articles and tutorials you can use to determine which ad strategy is right for your business. Even though this is a self-service platform, it’s designed to guide you through the process of running an ad campaign.

Types of Hulu Ads

Hulu offers multiple ad types from which you can choose. We’ll break them down here.

Ad Selector Ads

Ad selector gives viewers the option to pick between different ads from the same company. Ad selector assumes that potential customers will engage more with an ad they choose to watch. When you select this ad type, you will make two or three different versions of your ad so viewers can choose the one they want to see.

Binge Ads

Binge ads are exclusive sponsorships that run at the beginning of a series, allowing viewers to watch the series mostly ad-free. When you choose this type of ad, you aren’t competing with other vendors for airtime. Viewers see ads only from your company, potentially making the ads more memorable.

Interactive Ads

These ads differ from typical television ads because they direct Hulu viewers to your landing page. Interactive ads allow potential customers to learn more about your products and their features as well as your services and your company.

Pause Ads

If someone is binging multiple episodes of a show, they’ll likely have to hit pause every once in a while. Pause ads overlay the screen when a person pauses the show. With this ad type, you can use QR codes, animation, and other elements to interest viewers before they restart their show.

Video Commercials

Video commercials are the typical ads that are shown before, during, and after shows. You can make video ads as short as seven seconds or as long as 30 seconds. These ads are great for getting started on the platform and testing out targeting and other features.

How To Advertise on Hulu

If you’re ready to start targeting Hulu customers, follow these steps.

1. Log In to Your Hulu Ad Manager Account

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be prompted to create a campaign. If you’ve already created multiple campaigns, you can check out the performance metrics dashboard (but more on that later). 

2. Set Up Your Campaign Details and Budget

Hulu’s Ad Manager will offer prompts for information about your campaign. Start by entering the date range for which you want the ad to run. Next, enter your budget and the type of ad you want to run.

3. Choose Your Target Audience

Hulu offers multiple targeting options. You can target by ZIP code, interests, and even the type of content a person is watching. 

4. Upload Your Video

At this stage, you’ll upload your video for review and pay for your ad. Improve your chances of approval with a video that meets the right ad specs and follows the site’s terms and conditions.

5. Measure Your Performance

Once your ad is up and running, you can use the reporting feature on Hulu’s Ad Manager to track your performance. Use this data to improve future ad campaigns by changing your messaging or targeting different groups.

How Much Does It Cost To Advertise on Hulu?

Hulu’s advertising costs are relatively inexpensive, with a $500 minimum ad spend per campaign. The platform charges per impression, so if your ad does big numbers, you can expect to pay more. However, you can cap your maximum ad spend to match your budget when you’re setting up your campaign.

Hulu Ads Best Practices

Best practices for Hulu ads mirror those of other streaming platforms. In general, shorter is better. Stick to a maximum of 30 seconds and get your point across early in your ad. Keep your ads consistent with your branding, including your fonts and colors. Write a script that aligns with your brand voice and use imagery that’s consistent with what you would put on your website or social media.

Finally, upload new ads regularly to keep your target audience from getting bored. 

What Is Performance TV?

Performance TV, a term coined here at MNTN, is a way to optimize Connected TV ads by customizing them and selectively targeting them to the right audience. Serving ads on Hulu gives you access to one user base, but with MNTN, you get access to customers wherever they’re watching across 150+ premium streaming platforms. It gives you the adaptability and hyper-focused targeting of social media along with the sophistication of traditional television advertising. Here’s what MNTN’s Performance TV solution offers.

Premium Inventory

MNTN gives you access to the best streaming platforms, thanks to our 150-plus direct deals with premium providers. You can advertise on the shows people want to watch and get more eyes on your brand.

Verified Visits™ Technology

Our Verified Visits™ technology is a better way to measure the return on investment for your Connected TV ads. This technology gives you a better sense of how your CTV ad is driving traffic and whether or not you can attribute the outcome of your campaign to your MNTN ads, within a time window defined by you. Learn more about how it works here.

Creative Solutions

MNTN allows advertisers to upload creative material and access multiple streaming providers, all on one platform. Need creative material to begin with? You can also tap into a diverse network of vetted creators via QuickFrame by MNTN, and with MNTN’s Creative-as-a-Subscription™ (CaaS) offering, to make memorable ads that hit the target every time. Read more about creative solutions at MNTN here.

Advertising on Hulu: Final Thoughts

Hulu’s subscription model and broad user base make it a great resource for targeting your audience. Ad Manager makes creating Hulu advertising campaigns easy and affordable. With a minimum ad spend of $500 per campaign, this is a great way to get your feet wet with CTV.