Advertising Overload

Some years back I discovered Hulu.com (http://www.hulu.com/). What a great place it was. You could find the latest episodes of current shows there. Watching them was a good experience without glitches. I think, there were a few commercials then but it was free and it worked.

Last year I signed up for Hulu Plus. This enabled us to watch shows through our Blue Ray DVD player on our TV. It was great to be able to watch shows together on a large screen, and the monthly fee was well worth the money. This spectacular, long summer came to Portland, coinciding with episode breaks and when last week I went online to check out the current offerings I found a brand new episode of one of my fave shows … and a brand new Hulu Plus experience.

It wasn’t a good one. I have never been exposed to so many ads on Hulu or Hulu plus. It was painful to sit through the ads and even more painful to see ad after ad play without delays in streaming, while the shows themselves kept having troubles. In the end I watched the show on my computer where, when not in full screen mode, it played ok.

Later I went to their FAQ and found that now they need to charge the same amount as before and show more commercials because, well, buying from large networks is expensive. However, lucky customers, we are able to customize the ad experience so that it is relevant to us … never mind all the information we give for free while paying for the service and wasting time.

This shows what a fine line there is between using advertisement to gain revenue or overusing it and losing customers and money. I for one am cancelling my service. As I do, I can’t help but wonder, why Google can do such an amazing job with making advertising seem helpful rather than annoying and grow their business at the same time.

We want to hear from you: Share with us what you consider good and/or bad use of advertising online.

– Sandra Augustin, Art Director

3 replies
  1. Thomas James
    Thomas James says:

    One trend that I can’t understand is pop-up ads. More specifically, when you click on an article that you’d like to read and a whole full page ad fills your screen requiring you to either click CLOSE or wait 15 seconds to get you where you were going. This seems counterintuitive and runs the risk of negatively affecting the brand of the company doing the advertising. Ads should be attention-grabbing, but not intrusive.

    Thomas

    • Sandra Augustin
      Sandra Augustin says:

      I totally agree. I think, it also negatively affects the site who allows advertisers to run ads like that.

      Sandra

  2. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    I have never really given Hulu much of a chance but we do use Tivo and Amazon Instant Video. With limited time as a mom I want to watch my shows and skip the commercials. I would rather buy my show then deal with commercials. Occasionally I will watch a commercial that has some relevance to me before fast forwarding. The only thing I find is that sometimes you loose touch with social news. For instance I never see new movie previews any more.

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