Overview: Hulu to build brand awareness for live TV

In the first-ever execution for the media and entertainment industry, IBM Watson Advertising and Hulu collaborated on a custom, targeted AI-powered ad experience with IBM Watson Advertising Conversations.

Hulu’s goals included building awareness for the Hulu brand, promoting the launch of “Hulu with Live TV,” educating users on Hulu’s services, and differentiating their brand as a preferred streaming service over the competition.

To engage relevant consumers on weather.com and The Weather Channel app, the Hulu Conversations campaign ran in conjunction with high impact branded backgrounds and homepage takeovers on select days during the holiday season.

The AI-powered ad featured a personalized content recommender, leveraging natural language dialog to ask users questions about their mood and viewing habits and deliver unique Hulu programming recommendations based on their dialogue. In addition, Watson was trained on Hulu’s FAQs including pricing, programming, and technical questions. Users engaged with Watson via text, voice entry, and/or quick pick buttons.

Media was targeted to both subscribers and non-subscribers, based on an analysis of Hulu’s CRM data. Non-subscribers were asked to “Start Your Free Trial,” while current subscribers were encouraged to “Watch Now.” Conversational marketing was an effective tool, helping the media team establish deeper connections with consumers while utilizing a data-driven approach.

In addition, Weather Targeting was applied to reach consumers when weather conditions were most likely to drive content consumption (i.e. when it’s cold or damp, it heightens the desire to curl up with a good TV show or movie).

Results: Conversational marketing campaign drives engagement

Hulu saw terrific results across their Conversations campaign, with meaningful conversations and significant time spent, including:

  • 44M total impressions served
  • 18K active user sessions
  • 3.5K conversations
  • 14K total button clicks with 3K clicks to Hulu.com
  • 3.7x more time spent in the unit vs. Google Rich Media interaction rate benchmark


In addition, Watson was able to provide users with an in-scope response to their query 99% of the time, leading to:

  • 1.3x more activations*
  • 1.1x more conversations*
  • 1.1x higher active user sessions on The Weather Channel Mobile App*
  • 1.7x higher active user sessions on weather.com Desktop*

* compared to an aggregate of all Conversations campaigns to date


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Focus Area

  • AI/Watson