Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spotrunner - DIY TV Ads

While internet and mobile advertising are gaining ground, television remains a powerful marketing tool. And one that's out of reach for many small businesses. Los Angeles-based Spot Runner offers a solution, by making it fast, easy and affordable for local businesses to advertise on television.

The entire process is online and automated: customers pick from a wide range of ready-made videos that are tailor-made to their industry. After selecting an ad, the business customizes voice-over text and on-screen information, and tells Spot Runner how much it would like to spend on air time and which markets the ad should run in. Complete campaigns, including production and airtime, start at USD 1,500 and can be up and running within weeks.

While some businesses may balk at the idea of cookie-cutter ads, the production quality is higher then most local florists, pet shops and wedding planners would otherwise be able to afford. And the self-service approach saves time and should appeal to businesses who don't have budgets for working with agencies and media planners. Very comparable to Google's AdWords approach to advertising online.

Spot Runner also operates a franchise advertising program that lets franchisees select commercials from a library of ad templates, and customize them with their own information, content and images. Which gives local franchisees more control over their marketing campaigns, while maintaining a consistent national brand identity. Franchisee partnerships include Contours Express (women's fitness centers), iSoldIt (eBay drop-off stores) and Century 21 (real estate agents).

As explained by iSoldIt's CEO: “Our industry is really still in its infancy, and TV lets us visually explain what we do in ways that print and online ads can’t. Spot Runner’s Franchise Advertising Program gives our franchisees a way to get on TV and introduce their services to the community, which is extremely valuable, because once people understand what we do, they visit our stores.” One to start up outside the U.S.?

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