Hulu, the over-the-top streaming video service owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast and Time Warner, is launching an interactive advertising unit — developed in partnership with the interactive TV firm BrightLine — that lets viewers buy products through their remote control or video game controller.
Dubbed "T-commerce," the unit debuts Wednesday with a campaign for the upcoming Warner Bros. film "Tomb Raider."
The ad features a trailer for the film, paired with an overlay that asks the viewer to press a button to buy tickets. A screen then pops up with choices for date, time and theater location (found using location data). Users can check out using their email.
The company says it will eventually expand into other product categories.
Interactive ad units are not a new concept and have been commonplace on desktop and mobile devices for some time, although not so on connected TV devices. The T-comm unit is a step toward bridging that gap.
Hulu research says viewers spend twice as much time engaging with a brand when the advertisement is interactive, with purchase intent increased by 160% compared to standard ads.