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Hello Hulu: Affordable Local Audience Targeting Option for Healthcare Advertising

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

HULU logoYears ago, the term “convergence” implied wonderful advances yet-to-come in technology. (Healthcare marketing professionals take note: advances lead to advertising opportunities.)

“Someday” your cellular phone would also take pictures (who could possibly need that?), and you’ll be watching television programs on a laptop (isn’t that called a TV set?).

In fact, that was a number of years ago, and—surprise—single purpose technology gadgets have converged into extremely popular multi-purpose, multi-media devices. And—no surprise—advertising is part of the propulsion system in new media.

One of the relative newcomers in new media for local healthcare advertisers to know about is HULU. For consumers, it’s interesting for it’s entertainment content, and for all of us in the healthcare advertising community, it’s plenty interesting as a possible advertising opportunity with unique capabilities. (According to TechCrunch, "Netflix and Hulu are the two leading video streaming services on the Web when it comes to mainstream TV shows and movies.")

We want to point out that advertising via Hulu probably isn’t for everyone’s doctor marketing plan, but it may have something for the media mix for our readers in hospital advertising, corporations and medical/healthcare products. For background, here’s a thumbnail sketch for small advertisers.

As you probably know, Hulu is an "online video service that offers a selection of premium programming provided by more than 260 content companies." (The Hulu product tour is here.) A lot of entertainment “converges” in what they describe as “TV on your terms.”

They say: “Watch your favorite videos right from your browser, anytime for free through Hulu.com. And with our Hulu Plus ad-supported subscription service, you can stream full current seasons and a deep library of back seasons of hit TV shows in HD to computers, internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, mobile phones and tablets.”

Here are some of the reasons why local hospital and healthcare advertisers might consider Hulu in their mix.

First, Hulu tells us that they have superior targeting capabilities for local advertisers. It’s not just national or regional coverage. They can “geo target” by Designated Market Area (DMA), by state, by city or by Zip Code. Further, they can target advertising by audience demographics.

As a further consideration, Hulu offers clickable ads, is relatively low cost, and local advertisements run in the course of the same programming as national advertisers. By their description, “Hulu gives advertisers an opportunity to associate their brands with premium online video content and connect with highly engaged consumers.”

Although this isn’t a media option for every situation (if you’re in doubt, give us a call), it is worth knowing about. Unlike some other advertising media options, Hulu could be useful for some hospital and healthcare corporate advertising requirements.

For related reading, see our previous post about Patch, also something new and local for healthcare advertising and public relations.

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