PIZZA ON DEMAND: HULU SELLS FIRST 'IN-STREAM PURCHASE UNIT'

By Steve Donohue, for [itvt]

Hulu subscribers will soon be able to place an order from Pizza Hut “without ever leaving the Hulu environment,” CEO Mike Hopkins wrote in a blog post last week.

While it’s Hulu’s first ever “in-stream purchase” deal, Pizza Hut has long been an innovator with advanced advertising. It sponsors a Pizza On Demand channel on Time Warner Cable’s Oceanic system in Hawaii. Navic Networks, the advertising technology firm that was once owned by Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia, helped TWC launch Pizza On Demand in 2002. Kanojia sold Navic to Microsoft in 2008.

Hopkins said that Hulu will begin running the in-stream purchase ads from Pizza Hut later this year. “With our effective targeting capabilities, this new innovation allows advertisers to target the right demographic, at the right time – all while allowing viewers to immediately pick up where they left off once their order is placed,” Hopkins added.

Hulu also announced at its upfront presentation last week that it will launch a cross-platform interactive advertising campaign this summer for Corona Extra beer. The cross platform ads rely on an algorithm that “predicts the appropriate audience for the brand, and serves an interactive ad that’s optimized for their device,” Hopkins said.

The online video provider said it also teaming up with 360 design company Immersive Media to launch “Hulu 360” ads which will “go beyond the traditional video ad to serve a groundbreaking viewing experience.”

Hulu offered few details about the 360 ads, but here’s a link to Immersive Media’s demo video.

Hulu announced at its upfront presentation last week that its $7.99 monthly Hulu Plus service recently surpassed 6 million subscribers. The company said it plans to step up its investment in original programming, ordering new “teen dance drama” The Next Step and reality TV satire Hotwives of Orlando.