Black Friday Fail: How Hulu is burning advertising money and they don’t even realize it

I see landing page errors all the time, but you usually don’t see it scaled. You might see it on a brand that spend $5,000/month, but not on a brand that spends that much a day.

I came across an excellent offer today from Hulu on Facebook today. You can get Hulu for $0.99 a month. As an ad buyer, I love a good offer, so I tapped to check it out to see what the catch was.

By the number of likes and comments, it was quite obvious this ad was scaled. No analytical tools required.

After clicking into the ad and trying to register/login, I get brought to a page that says my browser is unsupported. This is not good. When buying ads, you want a seamless user flow start to finish, particularly during the checkout phase.

Before getting into performance marketing, I studied computer science for 4 years. What’s going on here is these social media apps use their own internal browsers. When you advertise on Facebook, your ads don’t open up in one of the big browsers like Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Facebook has it’s own in-app web browser that ad buyers and developer alike should be familiar with. However, their development team appears to have neglected this user segment.

It appears they may have developed with a desktop-first prioritization, something that’s not recommended in 2023, and hasn’t been for years. Mobile-first development has been popular since 2010. The reason being that over 98.5% of Facebook users access Facebook from their mobile phone. I also saw this ad on my phone, so I know they’re not excluding desktop traffic, which would be a reasonable solution from an ad buyer if the engineering team was firm on not developing for the in-app browsers that social media sites use.

It’s Tuesday now, the last day of the sale meaning if this ad went live on Friday, this error has went unchecked for the entire weekend. As an ad buyer, I can testify that’s an ad buyers worst nightmare. Again, something more common at the small level, but certainly shouldn’t become the norm at the Hulu level.

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