Love them or hate them, advertisements are a necessary part of online video services like Hulu. If you have to deal with ads, you might as well keep them relevant using Hulu’s Personalized Advertisement Experience settings.

With these settings, you can customize the commercials you see in the middle of your shows, and be sure that the next time someone tries to sell you a new product, at least it might be something you actually need.

Personalize Your Advertising Settings

To start, open up your account settings by clicking on your portrait in the top-right hand corner of Hulu’s main splash window, and choosing “Account” from the drop-down menu.

Next, you’ll be asked to enter your password to prevent any unauthorized users from gaining access to your account.

From the account page, look for the “Privacy and Settings” section, and then choose the “Personalize Advertising Experience” option.

Once here, you’ll find a set of 13 questions you can answer about you, your shopping preferences, and any products you might be in the market for.

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There are generally very broad, such as “Do you plan on buying a car in the next six months?” or “When it comes to shopping for clothing, what kind of shopper are you?”. Answering these will give advertisers who work with Hulu a better idea of the types of content and advertisements that are relevant to products you like, as well as the way you like to shop for them.

For example, with the car ads you can say that you’re “Not interested, currently happy with my mode of transportation”. This will prevent any new ads for cars from appearing, which means you’ll see more content that’s specific to what you care about.

If you’ve already answered a question before but have since changed your mind on that topic or product, you can clear your previous answers by clicking the “clear answer” link next to the survey.

Swap Ads When You See One You Don’t Like

If the ads you’re seeing still don’t feel relevant enough to you after you’ve completed the survey, there’s also the option to use Hulu’s new “Ad Swap” program.

Ad Swap is a button that will appear in the top-right hand corner of each ad that plays during your show. If you don’t want to see the commercial that’s popped up, you can “swap” it out by pressing the button and choosing from a selection of three new ads instead.

Be aware, however, that if you do use Ad Swap, the ad will restart from the beginning even if the original commercial was almost finished.

Alternatively: Subscribe to Hulu’s “No Commercials” Plan

Of course, if you’re tired of seeing ads in the first place, Hulu has recently begun offering a new No Commercials plan that allows users to pay an extra $4 per month to drastically reduce the number of ads they see when they stream.

You’ll notice I didn’t say “completely reduce”, because even with “No Commercials” in the name, there are still certain shows which require Hulu to play advertisements at the beginning and end of each episode. You can find out which shows are affected by reading the list found here.

If one of your regular shows are in that lineup, you might still want to take advantage of the Personalized Viewing Experience survey to be sure you’re never stuck watching an ad about cell phones when you’ve already got a brand new one sitting in your pocket.

Streaming rights for content aren’t cheap, and although advertisements may be a nuisance, they’re also a necessary part of making sure we have a legal way to watch our favorite shows in HD on an iPhone just a day after they air on TV.

With Hulu’s Personalized Advertisement Experience, at least you can be sure that the ads you do watch make a little more sense, and are relevant to products you use or shop for on a daily basis.

Profile Photo for Chris Stobing Chris Stobing
Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. His work has appeared in PCMag and Digital Trends, and he's served as Managing Editor of Gadget Review.  
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