A few years ago I canceled my cable service and switched to a combination of Netlifx, Hulu, etc. for all TV needs. I often leave Hulu on as I go about my day — I love their autoplay feature, and since I mostly used to use my TV as background noise, the Hulu experience mirrors quite closely. The other day an in-stream ad caught my eye: the ad helpfully notified me (through a montage of scenes from Family Guy) that I could now watch Family Guy on PIX-11 every night at …. Wait, what?
It would be very hard to measure the ROI on a campaign of this kind, but I’d be curious to see what was behind the decision to include in-stream ads. Online TV show watchers probably don’t translate to traditional TV watchers as well as the other way around. Since this is a local station, I imagine their money would have been better spent on display ads on other local-focused sites, or geotargeted display ads in general. As such, they’re targeting an audience that already watches online TV (on Hulu) with messaging for a show that’s easily available on a number of streaming services, including Hulu (last 5 episodes of current season) and Hulu’s premium service HuluPlus (all episodes).