Bit Rate

Hulu: Super Tease

1/29/2009 9:56 AM

Hulu — a poster child for “new” TV — is gearing up for a monster marketing kick on “old” TV.

The fast-growing video site is planning to launch an ad campaign sometime during NBC’s Super Bowl telecast, typically the largest TV event of the year.

“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.

March