Kelsey: Spot Runner targets low end TV advertisers

Keynote speech from Nick Grouf, cofounder chairman and CEO of Spot Runner:

Background of Spot Runner: Founders saw what was happening with Google AdWords and Overture. “It proved to us that small local advertisers don’t have a lot of money to spend, but in the aggregate, it’s a large market.”

Grouf also said that it proved that small business owners are very comfortable with self-serve platforms, which interestingly contradicts what other speakers and hall way discussions have been saying – small business advertisers don’t have the patience or personal bandwidth for self service.

Spot Runner specializing in inexpensively building video advertising and using a rich set of data to make target buys and low price points in local TV spots.

For local advertisers, TV is the Holy Grail, but advertisers think TV is too expensive and creative is too expensive.

But in all but one market, a 30 second spot can be purchased for less than $200, and in some markets for as little at $10.

“We told that to local advertisers and their jaws dropped, but then there was a horrible moment. They said, ‘It doesn’t matter. We can’t afford the creative.”

To address the cost factor, Spot Runner created a list of advertising categories and then went about shooting a number of template commercials for each category. The canned videos can then be personalized.

The creative costs $500 and can be ready within 24 hours, compared to a typical ad agency that can cost as much as $500,000 and take weeks if not months to produce.

Here’s my observation: The real estate example Nick showed was no better than a similar spot from Digital Media Communications, which could cost the advertiser about $100.

Spot Runner started out looking for a solution for small businesses and found that large businesses are interested in their targeting capability for more efficient, targeted buys.

Grouf talked about working with the real estate industry. Historically, only 4 percent of real estate advertising goes to TV. Corporate leaders came to Spot Runner and said, “help us move our advertising out of dead tree media.� Spot Runner helps real estate corporations create TV ads that protect the brand image, but can be used inexpensively by local real estate offices.

Take Away: Spot Runner is a case study in out digital makes advertising more efficient, driving down prices and creating disruptive opportunities on the low end.

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