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Why Spot Runner May Be Revolutionary


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January 24, 2006

Why Spot Runner May Be Revolutionary

Rob Hof

I like Umair Haque's take on the real reason why Spot Runner is revolutionary--or could be. This is the new outfit, still in beta, that lets local businesses buy generic but easily customizable ads to run in very targeted local TV markets. Says Umair:

"The indivisibility of ads has suddenly been vaporized. It's not just that anyone can buy them - when you buy an ad on Spotrunner, you're really buying several rebundled, microchunked goods - so it's that the ad itself has been redefined.... Spotrunner can be hyperefficient not just because it allows access to buying distribution online, but because it microchunks ads, letting them be rebundled - and so reused...."

At the same time, he adds:

"To me, the most interesting part of Spotrunner is that they've totally missed the biggest opportunity that currently exists to disrupt advertising, and that's easily within their grasp. It's not distribution, or the microchunking of generic ads...I'll leave it to you to guess (hint: think edge competencies)."

I'm still trying to catch up with Umair here (and many other places, for that matter), but I wonder if he means a hyperlocal version of ads like this one that customers themselves could create.

Update: Pete Cashmore already has the same idea.

03:51 PM

Power of Us, Social Media, Web 2.0, advertising

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What were you hinting at that Spot Runner missed? To me, its a great idea, but they're bound to get squashed by the larger players, especially as Google is entering this industry. Spot Runner's only advantage is their library, which isn't much to build a business around.

Posted by: Blake Perdue at January 30, 2006 11:44 PM

Cheap-TV-Spots.com produced a custom made commercial and aired it nationally for me for less than high-tech Spotrunner charged for local airings. Spotrunner would not let me air nationally or let me have a web version of my ad. Very interesting. Cheap-TV-Spots.com should buy Spotrunner and really shake up the TV and web ad world.

Posted by: Patch at September 9, 2006 10:32 PM

Spot Runner is not worth it.

It is too generic and the voice talent is horrible. Someone's Master's thesis gone aground.

Must have looked good on paper.

Posted by: Bob at October 1, 2006 09:15 PM

The opportunity is in the customization and localization of ads. Distribution is important, but imagine a "dashboard" interface that could cheaply allow the individual or small business to create its professional ad much like a web publisher creates a "what you see is what you get" web page. Take it a step further and imagine being able to create the same ad but customized to whatever zip code or area code your ad is appearing. I know of one company called Visible World (www.visibleworld.com) that has created this cool technology for cable advertising. I believe it is being used by large players such as United Airlines and some automakers. When this type of service becomes available for the little guy over other mediums besides cable television, traditional advertising agencies will be in big trouble.

Posted by: James at October 12, 2006 12:26 PM

Localized advertising is LiveTechnology's niche. They have a new product, LiveAdMaker, that plugs into over 21 forms of media.

It enables Corporate Brands and Franchises to control brand controlled advertising, media spend, campaigns and quality. For the first time, it empowers the local marketer to create completely localized, Madison Ave quality avertising.

Posted by: Susan at January 4, 2007 05:10 PM


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