Hulu and Denis Leary show that they understand the Internet.

In: marketing| viral

6 May 2009

Denis Leary and Hulu have an inside joke.Since their first commercial launched during this year’s Superbowl, Hulu has been releasing a series of ads promoting the site. They all feature a celebrity from a hit show airing on either an NBC or FOX owned channel. The concept centers on the idea that Hulu is designed to turn your brain to mush, and that the stars are, in fact, aliens with plans for world domination. (Um…ok.) It’s kind of an odd idea. Regardless of your opinion of the concept, however, it is executed brilliantly.

The latest ad features Denis Leary, who stars in Rescue Me on Fox’s FX channel. One thing jumped out at me during the ad. They discuss the fact that you can embed Hulu videos on other websites and share them online. When they mention blogs, they show one of the laptops visiting a site called “What Would Denis Do.” Any fan of online gossip sites would recognize this as a parody of popular blog What Would Tyler Durden Do?, or WWTDD.

Most viewers probably wouldn’t catch on to this inside joke. But for those who get it, it shows that Hulu gets it, making it appear the site is run by people who spend too much time online, just like them. It also guarantees a mention not only on WWTDD, but also other blogs. It’s a great way to make this commercial go viral.

Audiences often respond to a marketer who seems like they are one of them. And it pays to think about how your marketing can be tweaked to include little details that would help it spread virally. Take a look at the full ad below, and think about what you could do to help your message spread.

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Mark Webster

About Mark Webster

One of the Co-Founders of SideTour, former TechStar (NYC Summer 2011), ex-NBA'er, and past TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Winner.