Soon on Hulu: Ad that lets you order pizza

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NEW YORK — Just when you thought it couldn’t get any easier to order pizza, it does.

Later this year, the streaming video service Hulu will serve up a Pizza Hut advertisement that allows viewers to order a pizza right within the ad.

The feature combines Pizza Hut’s online ordering system with Hulu’s interactive advertising system. It’s the kind of thing that could become more common as companies take advantage of emerging interactive ad capabilities.

Mike Hopkins, the chief executive of Hulu, promoted the Pizza Hut ad campaign at Hulu’s annual presentation for advertisers in New York on Wednesday. He called the ad an “in-stream purchase unit” and said other advertisers could use it to initiate product sales in the future.

Hopkins also promoted the fact that whatever TV show a viewer is watching will resume right after the order — in this case, for a 3-Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza or a comparable delicacy — is placed. Pizza Hut is owned by Yum! Brands.

Hulu, which is owned by the parent companies of ABC, Fox and NBC, includes ads on both its free and paid streaming services. This differentiates it from the ad-free services of two rivals: Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Hopkins also promoted other ad innovations, including 360-degree ads for mobile devices. He showed an example for a car company that let a user look up, down and around from the drivers’ seat of a car, taking advantage of the accelerometers inside some smart phones.

Hulu’s free service is currently only available on desktop computers, while its subscriber service, Hulu Plus, works on phones, tablets and other devices. But Hulu said it would enable part of its free service on phones this summer.

Hopkins also confirmed what has been widely reported for months: Hulu is in what he called “active discussions” with cable and satellite distributors to “integrate Hulu Plus into their set-top-boxes.”

Netflix is also in talks with distributors about making its streaming service available through set-top-boxes, and announced several deals with small distributors last week.


  • Vasu Murti

    The revolution will not be televised. If the pizza industry thinks they’ve found a lucrative market in gamers ordering their pizza through the console, they should be among the first calling for an end to marijuana prohibition!

    charlesvan wrote on

    “It is far from anything revolutionary. Stoners tend to be the opposite of revolutionaries. Just getting high and entertainment, food, video games, movies, and music are a way of life for them.”

    Nearly 75 percent of the drug war is directed solely at marijuana which is safer than alcohol and/or tobacco. And polls now show a majority of Americans (58 percent) favoring an end to marijuana prohibition.

    To be fair: there are vegan pizzerias here in the San Francisco Bay Area (one of the most progressive parts of the country, and very veg-friendly) and it would be easy for large pizza chains to offer pizzas with vegan cheese, imitation meats, etc. as an alternative. If shifting to a plant-based diet is as easy as using margarine in place of butter, it will make it easier for millions of Americans to transition to veganism.

    Attention: armchair activists! Through a slight change in lifestyle, we can save redwoods and rainforests, the ozone layer, and end global hunger, global warming, the energy, environmental, population and water crises… and end abortion, too, as abortion and war are the karma for killing animals!

  • B

    So you’re advocating that we should change our lifestyle and smoke marijuana, stop eating pizza and that this lifestyle change will change our environmental issues along with abortion ?? – “as abortion and war are the karma for killing animals! You must be HIGH.

    • Vasu Murti

      Hey, I didn’t say “stop eating pizza…” just order veggie toppings on the pizza, opt for a veggie burger in place of a dead cow burger, etc.

      Again: through a slight change in lifestyle, we “armchair activists” can save redwoods and rainforests, the ozone layer, and end global hunger, global warming, the energy, environmental, population, and water crises…


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