'Pause ads' garner success with 70% brand recall, says Hulu

The fundamentals of TV advertising are still the same, but advertisers must adapt to a streaming world.

TV advertising is still the same at its core, but that doesn’t mean that brands and advertisers don’t have to adapt, according to Jeremy Helfand VP, head of advertising platforms at Hulu.

"While there has been this fundamental change in the consumption of content, TV advertising really has not changed," he said at Advertising Week on Tuesday in New York City. "But we do have the opportunity to rethink what the advertising model should be because of the fact that there is now this changed behavior that now requires a response from brands and marketers."

Christina Beaumier VP product, TV platform at Xandr, explained that people are watching less TV, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that advertisers are losing out if they can keep up with the times. 

"We have found that customers are very willing to engage in advertising if it means they get free content," she said. "But when they were seeing ads they had a greater expectation of those ads. The audience first mantra still holds true." 

As a tiered streaming service, Hulu has had the ability to see what works on both sides of the paywall coin. 

Hulu's Helfand continued: "We’ve been experimenting with new formats, one is what we call the pause ad. Our viewers are pausing on content over 30 million times a day, so instead of stopping content and introducing an ad and then returning to the programming, look at the opportunity when they’re pausing on content and not when they’re rewinding or fast forwarding, but getting a drink, or answering email

"We developed this pause ad with Procter & Gamble and Coke were lighthouse customers. We ran brand studies that found a 68 percent increase in ad recall from running the pause ad."

According to Helfand, the pause ad and other transactional advertisements are a way to reach consumers in a less disruptive way as the dynamic between consumers and brands continues to shift.  

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