Hulu, the U.S. online video service announced a stream of changes to its offering a few days back. Our favorite was the ‘Ad Tailor’. As Hulu puts it, “The goal of Ad Tailor is to increase the relevance of ads for our viewers.” It’s very simple. When a viewer watches a program on Hulu, during the ad break, the user is asked how relevant the ad was to them. This helps Hulu overtime to display more relevant ads to that viewer.
The advertising industry is so often caught up in clever technology that involves complex behavioral or contextual algorithms that they forget that ‘users’ are actually ‘humans’. What better way to find out what is relevant than to ask?
We at Optism firmly believe in explicit profiling. The mobile phone is the most personal device in the world and commands its own rules of engagement. If the mobile industry were to follow its older sister, online, we could end up where the online display industry is now, with click-through rates and CPMs at an all time low because of poor targeting and low engagement. Preference-based marketing has a major role to play in ensuring the long term success of mobile advertising.
“The more efficiently we can match ads up with users, the more everyone benefits. Users see more relevant ads, and advertisers reach a more targeted and receptive audience,”says Eugene Wei VP, Product at Hulu.
Eugene is right and we salute Hulu for leading the charge in the online video space.