by Mike Masnick

Revolutionizing TV Commercials: Can It Revitalize A Shrinking Market?

from the do-people-still-watch-TV-ads? dept

While many people look at Google's ability to present more relevant ads as the real revolution of their advertising success, another aspect that is often overlooked was the ease of creating an advertisement. Before Google, most companies or individuals who wanted to put an ad online had to go through a cumbersome process -- often involving calling someone. It was extremely inefficient. With Google's AdWords, however, suddenly just about anyone could create and post an ad using self-service tools. That opened up the market tremendously, creating the market that Google is now cashing in on nicely. A few months ago, when talk started spreading about Google's plans to get into TV advertising (and newspaper advertising), we wondered if the same efficiencies would be present. Again, though, we mostly focused on the relevancy aspect -- and wondered whether or not it could be copied in the TV world (something Robert Cringely seems to be betting on, though we're less optimistic). We did mention that Google could make the underlying process of buying and managing TV ad space more efficient, but we weren't sure how much that would help.

However, it seems like another company, Spot Runner, may have beaten them to the punch and done a fairly impressive job of it. Silicon Beat has the details of how Spot Runner is trying to jumpstart the local TV ad business by making it extremely easy for local businesses to get ads on TV cheaply -- in some ways, doing exactly what Google did for online ads. Their system even lets people pick from stock video with customizable voiceovers -- though, you have to wonder about the quality and the fact that others may be using identical video (even if you can get exclusive rights in certain markets). Reading through the details, it actually does seem like the type of thing you'd expect Google to do in this market (and maybe they are...). Of course, there's another major difference between TV commercials and online advertising. Online advertising was a medium that was set to grow. TV commercials, on the other hand, appear to be facing a lot of pressure, as viewers are no longer the captive audience they once were. So, the real question may be which force will be stronger: the "growth" of the market as services like Spot Runner open up the market to many new players, or the shrinking of the market due to people no longer watching 30 second spots.

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  • identicon
    Prior Art, 11 Jan 2006 @ 12:39pm

    No Subject Given

    And with one poorly written blog, Overture gets swept into the dustbin of anonymity...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 11 Jan 2006 @ 1:24pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      Not really. I had thought about making the point on Overture, but you have to admit that the idea didn't *really* take off until the way that Google implemented it. Overture still made it difficult for just any random nobody to buy an ad, and it wasn't even pitched as an "ad" for a while, but a direct search result -- so it's quite different.

      It seems pretty clear that it was Google that got the right combination. Overture had the right pieces, and quickly followed up -- but it took them a while to match Google on the ease of use aspect.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, 11 Jan 2006 @ 5:29pm

    voice overs and stock video

    This is a good start. Many local ads look pretty crummy so using some stock footage might make them look better. Plus you could imagine that stock footage being supplied by third parties (e.g. various car shots being sent to car dealers by the mfrs).

    This reminds me of clip art 20 years ago. It seemed like nobody would want to re-use it but it happens all the time and doesn't seem to cause problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Julian E. Gude, 13 Jan 2006 @ 6:53am

    Spot Runner

    I'm wondering why Spot Runner launched their product with the traditional T.V. model rather than the hot online video ad space? Justin Hibbard, columnist for BusinessWeek online mentioned Spot Runner would have this capabilitiy in his August 2005 post on their blog Deal Flow. Obviously Spot Runner has this capability but they didn't use it as their lead? As an interactive marketer and online Ad Ops guy with rich media advertising background this really surprised me. They have a good idea here that leverages the power of the web and one that *will* have some really positive effects on the burgeoning local online advertising space. You can read my thoughts on Spot Runner at my blog post here

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Studio60Guy, 26 Sep 2006 @ 10:11pm

    Cheap TV Spots for the web

    Spotrunner rates are not nearly as low as their larger competitor called Spotrunner seems to tack on additional commissions to the network rate to offset their lowest cost production rates. Cheap TV Spots does not add those fees on. Also, airs their custom-made commercials nationally as well as locally. Spotrunner is limited to local ads because of rights issues with their productions. can air nationally for less than Spotrunner airs locally. Advertising your web business across the entire USA to 40 million households for $20 with is better business for technology ventures. CheapTVspots also will give you a web version of the TV ad to e-mail around or post anywhere you want.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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