Pause Ad

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Hulu’s Pause Ad is a non-disruptive, non-intrusive user-initiated ad experience that appears when a viewer presses pause when watching content.

The Pause Ad allows marketers to deliver relevant messaging to consumers at the right time and place — during a natural, user-determined break in the storytelling. It also allows advertisers to create and own a positive, entertaining viewer experience.

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Timeline

10 business days production lead time from the receipt of the final assets.

Available On

TV
LAPTOP
TABLET
PHONE

Brand Logo/Title Treatment

File Format

  • Vector .AI or .EPS file.
  • High-res layered .PSD
  • Transparent .PNG
  • Fonts (OpenType Font .OTF)

Creative Requirements

  • The brand logo/title treatment should have a transparent background.

Supporting Campaign Imagery

File Format

  • Vector .AI or .EPS file.
  • High-res layered .PSD
  • Transparent .PNG
  • Fonts (OpenType Font .OTF)

Creative Requirements

  • All images should have a transparent background.
  • Avoid using images with text in them.

Copy (Optional)

Creative Best Practices

  • Evaluate how brand messaging could function in the pause state.
  • Focus on relevancy.
  • Keep the text concise. Aim to cap at 30 characters or fewer.
  • Hulu will provide copy options if requested.

Text Readability

  • The text should be set in white to ensure readability.
  • Avoid having the messaging run over three lines of text.
  • The style should follow the client’s branding.

Text Legibility

  • Keep in mind that a single asset gets trafficked across all devices. Therefore, the font size has to remain legible even at the smallest supported breakpoint size (1024px).

Creative Requirements

No Solid Colored Backgrounds

  • Images should have transparent backgrounds.

No CTAs or Graphic Buttons

  • Users will only be able to access the advertiser’s site through the web disclaimer.

No Colored Text

  • Colored text will not show up well over the gradient. Text should always appear in white.

Observe Template Boundaries

  • Do not place components outside of the template boundaries. An image used in horizontal layout should not bleed into the vertical template area and vice versa.

No Overlapping Components​

  • Components should be spaced out comfortably. None of the pieces should overlap.

No Hulu UI Elements​

  • Do not use Hulu UI elements or layer controls in the design, which may cause confusion in the viewer. Users might see a play icon and think that it’s clickable.

Avoid Using Cropped Images​

  • Images should not have cropped edges or look incomplete.

No Direct Response Messaging​

  • Includes:
    • Discount codes
    • Financing Terms
    • Pricing
    • CTAs

Creative Recommendations

Use Contextual Brand Messaging​

  • Evaluate how your brand message could function in the pause state.
  • Are you offering something that a viewer might actually do while Hulu is paused?
  • Is there an aspect of “taking a break” or “pausing” in your brand message?
  • Does your brand have a message for the viewer’s location (living room or other room in the house)?

Keep the Text Concise

  • Viewers don’t want to see a big chunk of text on their screen. Make sure the messaging is clear and to the point (nothing more than four to seven words, two lines of text max).

Focus on Relevancy

  • Users will care more about the ad if they understand why they are seeing it. Connecting the ad copy/imagery to the pause events may increase interest.

Design Visual Focal Points

  • Avoid cramming multiple images into the ad creative. Use a single image to draw people’s attention.

Gradient Color (Optional)

Format

  • Hex or RBG Code

Purpose

  • NOTE: Clients can provide hex values of their brand colors for consideration if they’d like. However, if the brand colors cause the gradient to clash with the creative, they will not be used. The gradient is meant to work as a backdrop to the ad creative and does not need to represent the brand.

Acceptable

  • Black is acceptable but white is not.

Third-Party Tracking Tags & File Hosting

Tracking Tags

  • Clients can provide third party 1×1s and click trackers.

File Hosting

  • Files are hosted by Hulu.

Ad Unit with QR Code

Who Creates?

  • Hulu will create the QR Code to be used. Clients will need to provide the URL for the landing page where the ad is driving the viewer to. The destination link can be anything from a website, an app or the app store (to download an advertised app)
  • Advertisers are able to provide their own QR code if they are willing to share scan data with Hulu. Additional IO stipulations will have to be in place if the advertiser chooses to provide their own code.

CTAs

  • Calls to action to scan within the creative should be clear and compelling. They should be designed to get the viewer to take action, for example, by offering a deal, promotion, or entertaining destination experience. The CTA should be quick-to-read and be cohesive with the destination URL.

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*Required Field

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.

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.

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

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.

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: 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.

The use of Graphik is acceptable in cases where the Client cannot supply their own typeface.

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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Hulu Newfront

Green Is Good Digital Hub

Complete the form below for access to the full NewFront plus bonus content.

Q&A With
Gadi Amit

Founder, New Deal Design

Gadi: The development of serendipity in recommendations is very important. An analogy I use is that of a restaurant. If you go to a good restaurant, you don’t always want to see what you’re looking for. You’re looking for surprises. It’s not the expected, it’s the unexpected. You trust in the restaurant’s atmosphere. You don’t know exactly what you’re getting, but you trust their creativity and that you’ll enjoy whatever they serve you.

Do you think it is possible for a streaming service to become that “restaurant” - a trusted source of serendipitous recommendations?

Gadi: I absolutely do. But it is difficult. It’s a long game. It requires them to build trustworthiness with audiences through genuine content recommendations over the years.

Q&A With
Gandi Amit

Found New Deal Design

Gandi: The development of serendipity in recommendations is very important. An analogy I use is that of a restaurant. If you go to a good restaurant, you don’t always want to see what you’re looking for. You’re looking for surprises. It’s not the expected, it’s the unexpected. You trust in the restaurant’s atmosphere. You don’t know exactly what you’re getting, but you trust their creativity and that you’ll enjoy whatever they serve you.

Do you think it is possible for a streaming service to become that “restaurant” -- a trusted source of serendipitous recommendations?

Gandi: I absolutely do. But it is difficult. It’s a long game. It requires them to build trustworthiness with audiences through genuine content recommendations over the years.

Q&A With
Jonathan Miranda

Emerging Strategy Principal, Salesforce

Another expectation among younger generations seems to be personalization. How are you seeing this play out in media?

Jonathan: If you go into the world of advertising and marketing, customized, personalized advertising is more important than ever before. There’s a realization that eight years of funny commercials that we’ve showed everybody probably for the fourth time, doesn’t work anymore. So there’s a lot of companies moving towards specialized advertising.

How does this type of personalization translate to personalizing content beyond advertising? Who’s going to predict what people will want to watch, and do it first?

Jonathan: It’s not about being the first to predict what people want to watch. It's different. It’s about getting viewers to browse. You want to show them the value of all of the money Hulu has spent and the great range of TV and film for them to choose from.

Q&A With
Julie DeTragila

Head of Research & Insights, Hulu

Julie: There are vast differences between the way under 35-year-olds watch TV and over 35-year-olds watch TV. I grew up in a world where there were maybe 10 channels, and my viewing changed as technology and options changed. Younger viewers started from a really different place. Everything has always been on-demand. Anything they ever wanted to see was available to them, and they therefore have different expectations for TV.

How so?

Julie: One of the things we found with Gen Z is that they really want to be immersed in something for a long time. They want to have content that they can live with for a while; it’s like this long, seamless storytelling. They’ll knock off a couple episodes a night and it will last a couple of months. And then they’ll re-watch it a million times over.

What other shifts have you seen happen-with Gen Z but also more broadly-with the rise of streaming?

Julie: For years, television had to deliver a specific rating. Shows had to appeal broadly or else they wouldn’t survive. And those days are long gone because, with streaming services, shows can reach hundreds of thousands of people or tens of thousands of people and still be considered successful. There’s more experimentation with the types of content; we’re not locked into an hour, a half hour, a comedy, etc. The industry can create really niche shows to appeal to niche audiences, but also simultaneously create big, broad experiences that are shared by millions.

Q&A With
Larissa May

Founder, #HalftheStory

Your work focuses a lot on Gen Zs who, for better or worse, are dubbed “digital natives.” How do you think a generation of digitally native audiences view digital content differently than older generations?

Larissa: I think for young people digital content is a way they’re able to explore their own identities through the story... They want to see themselves and their stories in the content that they’re engaging with.

Tell us a little more about this digital content as Gen Z’s form of self-reflection.

Larissa: Digital content is sort of like a currency. I find that young people want to watch things that their friends are watching so that they can have conversations about it. For example, with Euphoria, young people were just kind of in love with the characters. It was very timely and a bit provocative, and then there was a way that they could see themselves in these stories and connect with their friends about the topics and ideas in the show.

And then also they could almost embody these characters in their own life. I really do think that the TV shows that young people are buying into are actually influencing their culture and their trends and even their language that they’re using.

Q&A With
Richard Frankel​

Global Creative Director, Spotify

What does the future of personalization look like?

Richard: I think it’s all down to trust. We're going to see more opportunity on platforms like Hulu and Spotify where the user trusts us.

That’s really interesting. Another area we wanted to explore is podcasts, and their relationship to video. For example, the show Homecoming is an adaptation of a podcast; the podcast Office Ladies is a spin-off from a TV show. Why do you think the two formats work so well together?

Richard: Anything at all that drives conversation in pop culture, and TV does a lot of that, is worthy of consideration in a podcast environment. Any of these conversations can become multiple audio streams that evolve with experts, interviews, and all kinds of narrative threads that can flesh out characters, or narrative development, or whatever's happening in those shows.