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Hulu Plus to Air Super Bowl Ad

2 Feb, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A major draw for the 100 million TV viewers of the Feb. 5 Super Bowl XLVI television broadcast between the New England Patriots and New York Giants is the commercials, which this year started at $3.5 million for a 30-second spot.

In addition to the requisite automobile, soft drink, E*Trade baby and GoDaddy.com commercials, Hulu Plus, the $7.99 monthly subscription video-on-demand service of Hulu.com, is airing a spot prior and during the game dubbed, “Will in Huluwood,” featuring actor Will Arnett.

The ad is a follow-up to the 2009 Super Bowl spot for Hulu.com that featured Alec Baldwin as a twisted alien infamously introducing the online repurposed TV program aggregator as a devious tool to turn people’s brains into mush.

The new spot does little to explain what Hulu Plus is other than parody Arnett as a wannabe Baldwin — which probably is the point.

Hulu is co-owned by News Corp., The Walt Disney Co. and NBC Universal.

Regardless, online previews of the spot have already dubbed it a favorite along with a Twilight-style Audi ad and the winning entry in Chevrolet’s Route66 Super Bowl ad competition by 26-year-old filmmaker Zack Borst, dubbed “Happy Grad.”

Movies and TV shows airing Super Bowl previews include The Hunger Games from Lionsgate; Disney/Marvel’s The Avengers; John Carter (Disney); G.I. Joe: Retaliation; The Dictator starring Sacha Baron Cohen (both Paramount Pictures) and The History Channel’s “Swamp People.”

Separately, the Super Bowl will not be broadcast by NBC in 3D, which is considered a missed opportunity, according to Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis with The NPD Group.

The research company said 60% of sports fans are interested in watching 3D sporting events with professional football cited as the sport consumers most want to experience in the HD format.

“That the highest-profile sporting event of the year will not be broadcast in 3D is a blow,” Arnold wrote in a blog post. “Whether or not millions of viewers planned to watch the Super Bowl in 3D is debatable, but it’s safe to say many assumed it would be.”

Arnold said the week prior to the Super Bowl typically sees an uptick in large screen TV sales. TV monitors 40 inches and larger increased 12% in 2011, while LCD units with screens 50 inches and larger rose 53%, compared with the same period in 2010.

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