Hulu — a poster child for “new” TV — is gearing up for a monster marketing kick on “old” TV.
“During Super Bowl XLIII this Sunday, look for the launch of Hulu’s ad campaign. Finally, we’ll reveal the secret behind Hulu,” said an e-mail the company sent to reporters this week.
Note that one of Hulu’s daddies is NBC Universal, so there may be some kind of friends-and-family rate going on. That said, a Super Bowl :30 spot is still worth upwards of $3 million. It remains the single-biggest marketing stage anywhere. [UPDATE: The New York Times reports that Hulu’s ad time was paid for, and is not included in the 5 minutes of Super Bowl ad inventory NBC will use to promote its own shows.]
Hulu isn’t saying anything more about its Super spot — reps won’t even tell us which quarter the ad is slated to run. And allegedly, most Hulu staffers haven’t even seen the ad yet. (Recalls an old joke: How do you keep an idiot in suspense? I’ll tell you tomorrow.)
Whatever the surprise, it’s hard to imagine it could top E-Trade’s barfing spokesbaby, the most-replayed spot by DVR viewers last year.