Hulu Signs More Brands and Tests Ad Packages

You know content aggregation has reached apotheosis when sponsorships are sold as mere word plays on the type of media being syndicated.

Under an upcoming Honda sponsorship of Hulu, ads for the car maker’s 2008 Pilot SUV will appear on a page compiling the pilot episodes from all shows available on the premium video site.

The unusual ad deal exemplifies how Hulu’s sales team is experimenting with enhancing advertiser integration with the two-month-old video site. According to its advertising SVP, Jean-Paul Colaco, the News Corp. and NBC Universal joint venture has also signed its first official advertiser to a program called Ad Selector that lets users choose the brands whose spots they’d prefer to see. Alberto Culver, a purveyor of home and cosmetics products, will eventually be joined by other brands in the Ad Selector program. It’s also added geo-targeting and dayparting capabilities to its ad platform. Colaco added Hulu has signed a number of new advertisers since its early March launch, including Bank of America, Research in Motion, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, and Colgate.

“Traffic has been extremely strong, so we’re selling in to meet that traffic that’s been delivered,” he said, adding CPMs remain strong despite the influx of inventory, a phenomenon typically known to put downward pressure on publisher prices.

Regarding the Honda deal, he added, “The power of aggregation enables advertisers to capture a significant amount of impressions.”

According to numbers Hulu shared yesterday, video streams in April surpassed 63 million, and users are viewing more than two hours of content per month on average. It also announced video content will be distributed to six new partners, including TVGuide.com, Break.com, and Flixster.com.

Colaco said Hulu will conduct advertising effectiveness research in the next six to eight weeks.

Hulu’s in-house ad sellers divide the rights to sell inventory with owners and media sources News Corp. and NBC Universal, as well as other content syndicates. Colaco declined to say exactly what the split is.

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