Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The future of TV buys: prefab ads at fab prices?

See spot run. Run, spot, run!

Now that I've got my Google AdWords campaign up and running for this website - 17 clicks yesterday from people who Googled "Kenton's" once, "creative" 28 times, and "Winnipeg" 17,000 times - it may be time to go after that elusive TV audience in Fargo, Cleveland, and Peoria.

Don't laugh: you can do it through Spot Runner, another cool online idea that aims to do for TV ads what Google does for online ads: make them cheap, easy to create, place, and available for local businesses that previously couldn't afford the time and money involved in TV production.



Spot Runner "creates an online dashboard of local media" for these businesses, selling a roster of customizable prefab TV ads, and cheap ad buys from local TV stations.

Some of the prefab ads include:
  • "Optimistic ad promoting a company's actions that help preserve the Earth" (BP take note!);
  • "A tranquil landscape ad;"
  • "A lighthearted spot for a housecleaning service" (As opposed to those depressing, downbeat housecleaning spots for lemon-fresh Pledge and the Swiffer?).
The spots, including personalization, cost about $2,000 each, not including the media buy; in Ken Auletta's book, Googled, Spot Runner's CEO says the company can buy you a 30-second spot in Santa Barbara for just $12.

Voila! Prefab ads at fab prices. What's not to love?

What's not to love:

There are some downsides to the company, if not the service:
  • The team that did the creative for Spot Runner has splintered into its own company - Agency Division - competing head to head with the old boss (same as the new boss!).
So, maybe I won't drop the money to advertise on local TV just yet. Ah well: we'll always have Kern-Hill:





Update: Policyfrog tipped me off about this site that does the same thing (and looks easier to use): PlaceLocal.

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