Hulu’s AdZone Goes Head-To-Head With YouTube’s AdBlitz

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January 24, 2012 – 6:51 pm

huluWith a little more than a week to go before the Giants and the Pats meet for Super Bowl XLVI,  Hulu has opened up its AdZone channel, which is going up against YouTube's AdBlitz. Actually, the two sites don't have much in common besides being built around Super Bowl marketing, but there are some interesting similarities.

For one thing, both channels are sponsored by automakers -- Toyota for Hulu's AdZone and Dodge Durango for YouTube's AdBlitz. And the time around the Super Bowl is one of the highest trafficked period for the two video sites as well. (See Hulu's blog for more details on AdZone.)

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at what each is bringing to the game this year.

To start, Hulu's AdZone 2012 has over 250 Super Bowl ads going back nearly 40 years. That number will grow over the next week and will also include all the ads that run during the big game.

Since there has to be an extra reason to keep returning to the channel, Hulu viewers can vote for their favorites. They'll also be encouraged to attract others by sharing ads through all the usual social media avenues (Facebook, Twitter, etc...).

The Hulu channel will also feature "leaked," banned, and preview ads from 2012 available prior to game time. In addition to sponsorship from Toyota, industry trade magazine Advertising Age has signed on as one of this year’s Hulu AdZone partners, though they do not have any branding on the AdZone widget or Hulu player. The magazine and the site have teamed up on a section of AdZone devoted to popular celebrity ads that have appeared during the Super Bowl.

Unlike Hulu's AdZone, which doesn't say how many uniques and pageviews it got last year, YouTube is happy to trumpet its numbers. Two weeks after last year's Super Bowl, YouTube said in a blog post that it had garnered 93 million pageviews and that traffic to its user ad contest represented nearly 1 in every 20 video views -- or 4.5 percent of all U.S visits to the Google-owned video site.

Turning the kind of traffic spikes both sites see related the Super Bowl is often a challenge. But given that Hulu and YouTube already have built up an audience interested in these videos, the respective sponsorship deals are probably pretty lucrative. But as NBC Universal prepares to stream the Super Bowl live for he first time -- and will include ads from about eight marketers -- Hulu and YouTube are not the only games in town competing for views and ad dollars.

Here's the first video that was "leaked" to Hulu AdZone VW’s “The Bark Side”:

By David Kaplan

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January 24, 2012 – 6:51 pm

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