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Hulu’s Ad Tailor Thinks I’m An 18-35 Year Old Woman

Posted by on March 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I don’t like TV, but I love Hulu. Much like a DVR, it allows me to skip all the necessity of having to wait around for something I like to pop up on the screen and then watch it. I grew up on the stuff, but our relationship fell apart in much the same way that mine did with radio: having to stick around to hear people’s crappy playlists sucks. With Hulu, I can cut away time to watch a handful of shows on my own time without having to resort to piracy. But the ads on Hulu. The ads…

Now Hulu Plus users do have a right to complain. They pay monthly for the mostly TV-based content and instead of zero ads, they receive two to three per break, just like everyone else. There was a time when virtually every ad spot on Hulu was a to-the-point fifteen second spot that got you back into the show quick, but now these are becoming progressively longer. Also: the disappearance of long-form of commercials as a way to skip ad breaks altogether.

But everyone hates Hulu’s ads, that’s not really a surprise; the surprise to me is that after watching Hulu for three and a half years now, Hulu still thinks I’m an 18-35 year woman with kids. I don’t know what demos Hulu does well in, but apparently I’m the most common denominator. For years, my shows have been stuffed with Glade commercials, PlaySkool ads (like the one seen above), fragrance and perfume spots, and skin care products. My favorite stores are, apparently, Target and JCPenney.

Attempts to tame the Hulu Ad Tailor have been lackluster. In the corner of each ad, you can let it know whether it was relevant to your or not. After a few rounds of this, and then tests through a multiple of shows, it finally showed me a PSVita spot, more ads about cars that a small-sized family would enjoy, ads featuring newlyweds in everyday scenarios, and even more ads with children in them. It’s not even that I’m anti-children, it’s that their appearance in any advertising materials takes said product off my ‘want to get this stupid thing’ radar immediately.

I have no idea why Hulu wants to box me up so badly, but if you want me to engage with the service more, show me things I actually want to purchase.

And no, it can’t be Parenthood’s fault. Obviously it’s not that.

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  • James Peter Allen

    Hulu thinks I need makeup, women’s shavers, and pregnancy tests