Generation Stream is always connected; a digitally native and socially-savvy audience. They are first movers, content curators, and in today’s world with endless on-demand shows to binge and hundreds of viral social media challenges (or dances) to learn, there is certainly no shortage of entertainment options available to them. For advertisers, figuring out the right platform and creative approach to reach this audience across diverse media types can be a daunting task.
Given the expense and time it takes to build new creative, advertisers often ask Hulu if their digital ad creative (that’s designed and intended for social media) can be repurposed on Hulu, and if these ads are just as effective on streaming TV. Some key questions advertisers often ask are:
- “Do repurposed social ads have a negative/positive effect on the Hulu viewing experience or on the advertiser?”
- “Are ads repurposed from a social environment just as effective as ads that were created for the TV/CTV environment?”
To answer these questions, Hulu partnered with MediaScience to run an in-home experiment using their StreamPulse™ solution, which evaluated if ads created specifically for social media platforms would be effective if repurposed for Hulu. In this study, participants watched content in a mock-Hulu environment on their home TV screen via their OTT streaming service. They were exposed to one of two types of creative ad formats from the same brand: 1) premium video ads, which are ads traditionally seen within the streaming TV space, or 2) video ads created for social media. This was then followed by a brief survey.
The study also explored the types of creative executions that brands traditionally leverage on social media. These are categorized as “social repurposed” and “social sourced” ads:
Here’s a look at what we learned:
Overall, both premium video ads and social media ads on Hulu were effective, generating higher lifts across all tested metrics when compared to the non-exposed control group. Since streaming TV is at the intersection of television and digital media, it is not surprising that Hulu drives results for both television and social-style assets alike.
With that said, the study did uncover performance differences when the creative formats were compared against one another – specifically within the upper funnel.
The findings: TV creative ads are more effective from an awareness and memorability perspective, driving significantly higher lifts in Recall and Brand Recognition. Therefore, advertisers looking to build their brand identity should lean into this type of asset on Hulu.
Diving deeper into the two types of social executions tested – “social repurposed” and “social sourced” – the study also uncovered noteworthy performance differences across the lower funnel.
When evaluating lower funnel success, ads optimized for the social environment (“social repurposed”) are just as effective as premium video ads on Hulu. On the other hand, creatives that rely on influencers and user testimonials (“social sourced”) can adequately drive memory metrics, but they fail to make a significant impact on Purchase Intent. This proves that the quality of an ad’s creative can impact the effectiveness of a campaign. So when possible, brands looking to repurpose social assets on Hulu should lean away from testimonial or influencer type assets, and tap into more premium, high quality creatives.
Generally speaking, viewers feel that premium video ads are more entertaining, likely because of the production value and storytelling capabilities within the streaming TV space.
Social ads, on the other hand, are considered more informative as they are designed to capture viewers’ attention quickly; this is essential when brands only have :5 -:7s to relay their message. These ads often feature branding (such as a logo or a tagline) immediately alongside/preceding a prominent call-to-action.
Premium video ads and social ads both prove to be successful in a streaming TV environment, but viewers do notice where ad formats typically appear. For example, viewers recognize that social ads tend to appear on smaller screens such as tablets and mobile devices, whereas premium ads are typically shown on bigger screens like a television or desktop.
There is an opportunity to surprise viewers with social creative in an unexpected place, or target them with device-specific creative for a contextually relevant experience.
We see that all ad formats work in the Hulu environment, but why advertise on Hulu vs. social?
To answer this question, Hulu partnered with Nielsen on a lab study that incorporated eye-tracking and survey data to understand how viewer engagement with the Hulu ad environment compares to social media sites.
The results showed that ads on Hulu command 73% more attention than those on social media sites. In fact, the eye-tracking data proved that viewers are only looking at ads on social media sites for half of the ad time (51%) versus the majority of the ad (88%) on Hulu.
In addition to higher ad attention, Hulu provides a high-quality and brand-safe environment for advertisers. In a recent survey, viewers rated Hulu significantly higher than social media sites when it comes to safety, trustworthiness, and having more premium content. For advertisers that place a premium on brand safety, look no further than Hulu!
So, what did we learn?
1) While it’s hard to beat premium video ads, ads designed for social media still drive full-funnel impact on Hulu.
TIP: For brands looking to repurpose their social assets on streaming TV, lean into ads optimized for the social environment, as opposed to those that rely on influencers or consumer testimonials.
2) Premium video ads tend to drive stronger memory and are viewed as more entertaining than social ads.
TIP: For brands looking to build or improve their brand equity, leverage this type of creative format. For performance-driven marketers who traditionally run on social to drive sales, social ads running on Hulu are just as effective as premium video ads at driving purchase intent, and are also viewed as more informative.
TIP: Viewers recognize the typical placement of ad formats by device type, but there is an opportunity for brands to either surprise viewers by serving ads in an unexpected place or target viewers by device-specific creatives for a seamless viewing experience.
3) Ads on Hulu command more attention and are viewed as more engaging than those on social media sites.
TIP: If your brand values brand safety within a trusted environment, advertising on Hulu should be top of mind, as Hulu ranks higher than social media sites when focusing on brand safety and trustworthiness.