Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hulu Ads

  So now that the entire US has switched to Hulu for their source of TV as it's far more convenient and 1/20th the price of Cable or Dish-based systems, we're all subjected to "Hulu Ads".  Usually, these ads are repetitive.  Not too big a deal, but when I watch something media-wise, I watch it.  I don't go to the movies to "not think".  Some people get fussy with me because they say things like, "Aw, Mike, can't you just watch a movie to be entertained?  When I go to a movie, I don't want to have to think."  I'm sad for these people.  I think they're dead inside.  Somewhere, at some time, they gave up in Life.  They've lost their sense of wonder, their sense of wanting, longing, needing to find out the why of things, the how of things.  These people never look up and consider the Arabic iterations of constellations in the night sky versus Norse or our own versions, or consider ancient civilizations sending Aldus-lamp signals to us by laser, now thousands of years antiquated and probably long-since demised due to the delay of light-travel or radio-waves... plus they have iPhones, voted Obama, and are empty, lifeless husks, fillers on this Earth to breed and create matter and ruin a perfectly good planet with their diseased minds.  All except for some guy named Dave.  He's pretty okay.

  So I watch Hulu and enjoy shows that don't suck as much, like Firefly and the most recent season of Saturday Night Live now that Tina Fey is gone they've rediscovered their "Mojo" and, actually, it's quite good again.  A bit of a Renaissance for them, which is nice.  Particularly good is Bill Hader's "Stephon Myers" who's a city correspondent of the club-scene that has a bit of a Harvey Corman habit of accidentally breaking his comedic bearing by laughing during the skits.  As he reads the rehearsed cue-cards, some are altered for the final cut to his surprise as he reads them and it enhances his loss-of-bearing.  Also, dimpled Kate McKinnon is a girl you just want to knock unconscious and play "Lambs" with and try not to get arrested. 
  One of the problems with this mild $4.99 pay service is that you have to endure a scant few commercials; not always however though.  It sometimes vocalizes, "Which ad-experience do you prefer?"  Sometimes it does not!  If you watch a show that's ancient, there's very few ad agencies willing to shovel-out the dough to have placement there, particularly if it's unpopular.  One such example is Michael Pare (of Streets of Fire and Eddie and the Cruisers fame) in Starhunter.  No commercials there, nor in Space Rangers with Clint Howard (of Ice Cream Man and Star Trek's original series second best episode "The Corbomite Maneuver") and Linda Hunt (of Dune).  Some of the commercials are relevant to me, most are not.  What's nice is that you can actually decide if the commercial "ad" (like Apple renaming a program an "app"lication to make it.. um.. better I guess, though no less virus-prone) is something you might like.  What's cool about this is the "ads" start to suck less.

Kirk is distracted constantly by his lust for Yeoman Rand.  McCoy realizes this early on and has her transferred to another ship behind his back in Star Trek's "The Corbomite Maneuver" (November 1966)

  So, of course, I'm going to pick the same things Tony Stark likes, such as booze, chicks, fast cars and bikes, (and unlike him, all things Burger King-a-riffic) as well as funny ones I have no idea what the ad is about in the first place (I love those because they're not readily apparent and usually fail at the main theme of getting you to buy-in to their product in the same way a religious friend once played a Christian-rock song to me and I told him it was so bad it makes me want to pray to Satan it failed so badly to his horror!)  Indeed, some commercials are so bad, you want to do the opposite.  McDonald's is a prime example of this.  I ain't lovin' it and I don't know to what corporate level they're working their commercials but it doesn't resonate with anyone, pals.  Corporate FAIL.  You're all fired!  (except for Jack Napier.. he's doin' just fine)..

  I'm able to click "Yes" for "Is this commercial relevant to you?" in the top right corner.  I'm able to eventually get everything I want to see so that the commercials are more eye-candy to me than actual commercials, which is neet.  What's troubling though is that sometimes the commercials are somewhat what I want to see, such as fast, awesome cars, but it's a minivan commercial with kids in the back.  Tricky, because, sure, the minivan is red which suggests I like exciting cars, but at the same time it's, well, a minivan which indicates a male has given up on Life and his testosterone and his soul for convenience and probably has an iPod and like Milton's red Swingline stapler is the last bit of "cool" (it being red) he's clinging to desperately like a dying insect and honestly, those and SUVs (minivans disguised as trucks on cheap car platforms) are not what I'm interested in.  So it's tricky sometimes.  If I click "Yes" then the commercial algorithm might think I like minivans, kids, and other pansy shit I could care less about, like making sure I have room for seven (I don't even KNOW seven people, let alone have them pile into my POS-of-an-SUV that S-U-X!);  nor perhaps a dogfood commercial that's full of "natural grains" when in-fact a dog has canine teeth (hence the sub-family) and is a carnivore not an herbivore lest it malnourish and wither, and left to its own devices would eat mice, rabbits, or in packs "small children" and not an organic bowl of gay.

  So I try to outsmart the algorithm blindly.  It's easy if they show something like a Corvette ZR1 commercial.  Sure, I wanna see more of that, or a Mountain Dew commercial, or some hot chick eating ice cream in slow motion messily like she has Down Syndrome.  I get trapped though when it's a Neutrogena commercial though, because it's Jennifer Garner or perhaps Sofia Vergara pushing Diet Pepsi, or if it's a Toyota Corolla commercial?  Well, I don't like those as they're A to B cars and not sports cars, but if I don't choose it, will the algorithm think I don't like cars as a whole?  I'm not really interested in certain specific product per-se but the concept is there.. getting "warmer", Mr.Algorithm...  So what do I do?

  Sometimes, in these tough cases, I click the "Yes" option, but mostly I let it ride and don't react.  It's too much of a trap.  I definitely click "No" to things like Target showing me kids' clothes or two gay dudes jousting then I'm not going to get on that bandwagon.

  I think I've trained Hulu Plus enough that it isn't giving me too many bad "ads" now, and it's nice I can mold it.  To make sure, sometimes I'll click the "open in new window" ad experience full in-your-face like Back to the Future II style so that Hulu Plus will get real excited and play way more of those.  Now if only Hulu Plus had Adrianne Barbeau in a Lamborghini eating Burger King messily with way too much lip gloss while X-Wing fighters were shooting down Smaug with Wolverine on the dragon's back smashing through the plated scales! 

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