With the advent of streaming Netflix, Hulu, Google TV and Apple TV, the shift towards web delivered television is accelerating. In my home, we’re considering canceling cable now that 99% of what we watch is on Hulu or Netflix. Recently, I realized that my two young children didn’t have a concept of “live” TV. They’ve been raised in an on demand media world and the concept of having to watch a show at a certain time because that’s when the TV executives wanted to air it doesn’t make any sense to them.
These sorts of shifts always happen within certain demographics first. They tend to be ignored, or even mocked by other demographics until they go mainstream (I’m still shocked that anyone would choose to go without a landline, but today 25% of American households are cellular only).
What that means is that today, if you watch Hulu, you will see advertisements that are designed for a very specific demographic. But interestingly, this is a demographic that may very well be a leading indicator of future interests.
That’s why I’m amazed, and pleased, to see that the majority (yes, more than half) of ads served up on Hulu have some sort of social impact message. Whether it is corporations positioning themselves as good social citizens, or the hot nonprofit Vittana running ads they could never afford to run in prime time, Hulu ads seems to assume that viewers are globally minded citizens who seek blended value as they engage with the world.
But I was particularly struck by this ad for an MBA program at the University of Phoenix. The message: Traditional MBA programs teach you how to ruin the world.
In my mind, the overall takeaway from the ads running on web-based TV, is that it isn’t cool to not care anymore. Across a huge range of engagement types, the demographic of people who are early adopters of this sort of media want a blended value experience.