Hulu’s Digital Identity Exploration

Remember the first time you used a ride-sharing app? You had to download the app, enter your email and credit card info, and punch in your location. The same goes for other apps like banking, delivery, and subscription services. They all require some level of digital know-how, some level of comfort with technology, and some desire to incorporate tech into your daily life.

We set out to learn more about these traits and how they work together to create a spectrum of “digital fluency” among consumers. We wanted to know more about how people adopt and interact with technology in everyday life and how to advertise to people at different digital fluency levels. Here’s what we found.

Digital Fluency is Similar Across Generations

Each age group shows a range of digital fluency. To our surprise, younger generations fall evenly on both ends of the fluency spectrum.

Technology Prompts Behavior Change and Media is the Gateway

With the understanding that technology can drive behavior change, Hulu found that media is core to digital identity. Social media and streaming are gateways to greater digital engagement.

From Media to Transactions

Once consumers feel comfortable using media (specifically streaming video, streaming music, and social media), they transition to transactions. This progression drives to convenience apps, advanced technologies, and ultimately, services that speak to an identity.

Unique Motivators Inform a Spectrum of Digital Identity Types

Hulu uncovered six segments that make up the digital fluency spectrum, and there are nuances between what drives each segment. At one end of the spectrum, there are the Minimalist and Enlightened segments. They tend to use technology to accomplish basic tasks.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the Maximizer and Creator segments. They find more fulfillment and inspiration in connecting with people and getting tasks done with technology.

In Advertising, Personal Connection Matters More to the Digitally Fluent

Once we understood people’s digital journeys and varying levels of fluency, we explored how to speak to the range of fluency types in advertising. We found that, regardless of segment, people want to feel like brands care about their customers and understand their needs, but higher-level identities also want brands to understand and reflect their values.

Specifically, the Connected, Maximizer, and Creator segments are more likely to over-index for wanting personalization and advocacy.

There Are Nuances in How Each Identity Type Wants to be Addressed with Advertising

The Minimalist and Enlightened segments are looking for information that is direct and early in the advertisement. On the other hand, the Maximizer and Creator segments are interested in ads that are entertaining, engaging, and have an interactive component.

Diversity in Ad Formats is Important to Drive Resonance Across Segments

Hulu has ad units for every type of viewer. Minimalist and Enlightened segments, who want all of the information up front, prefer Hulu’s Branded Entertainment Selector, which gives them the option to choose one longer ad at the beginning of an episode instead of regular ad breaks.

On the other hand, Connected, Maximizer, and Creator segments prefer interactive ad units like Ad Selector (option to choose which ad unit they want to see) and Customized Integrated Commercials (co-branded ads created with an advertiser in partnership with Hulu).


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  • No symbols such as registered marks, copyrights, etc.
  • If symbols are required, they will be presented in standard text such as" Brand (TM)".

Stress mark should be marked with [capitals] to indicate the primary stressed syllable, as in: news・pa・per [NOOZ-pey-per] in・for・ma・tion [in-fer-MEY-shuhn]

On living room, mobile, and tablet devices, the color gradient overlay is dynamic and will change based on the cover story art. It is not something we can control on our end.

If the tagline/date messaging doesn’t fit within the 11 syllables max, it can be included as text.

On living room, mobile, and tablet devices, the color gradient overlay is dynamic and will change based on the cover story art. It is not something we can control on our end.

Q: When is letterboxing allowed and not allowed?

A: When the native aspect ratio is 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 throughout the entire program, there should not be any letterboxing (black bars on top and bottom), nor should there be any pillarboxing (black bars on either side). We should should see an active picture take up the full frame. If the aspect ratio is wider than 1.78:1, such as 2.35:1, matting on the top and bottom is permissible. Additionally, if there is a creative choice to add matting or if there is a mix of native aspect ratios, this is usually waived, but please reach out to your Hulu representative to confirm.

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Q: Should the bitrate be constant if delivering ProRes codec?
A: No, since ProRes codec is built to be variable, this is waived.

Q: Can you accept bitrate higher than 30 Mbps?
A: Yes, we can accept bitrate beyond the recommended range for H.264 and ProRes. In the case of ProRes, bitrate will often exceed 30 Mbps due to its variable setting.

Q: What does native frame rate mean?

A: Native frame rate refers to the frame rate the source footage was shot. Whenever possible, we require all videos to be delivered in their native frame rate. This means that no frame rate conversion should be performed, which includes adding 3:2 pulldown for broadcast.

Q: Why do you ask for progressive?

A: The Hulu player, unlike traditional broadcast, does not play back interlace scan, so we require that all videos be delivered with their scan type set to progressive. If your video is natively interlaced, you must de-interlace it to progressive and you must employ a de-interlace filter that does not result in blending or ghosting artifacts. We recommend an auto-adaptive de-interlace if available.

Q: Why do you prefer PCM codec?

A: PCM codec is lossless audio quality, so whenever possible, please deliver PCM audio.

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