Spot Runner to bring pre-fab TV ads to the Web
What if you could buy a 30-second spot on TV and then schedule it to run on local television around the country - all via a Web browser and in less than half an hour? That's more or less the premise of Spot Runner, a Los Angeles-based startup which just picked up $40 million from savvy investors like Allen & Co and Lachlan Murdoch and a slew of big advertising shops, among them CBS, Interpublic Group, and WPP.
CEO Nick Grouf gave The Browser a tour of Spot Runner this past summer, and we were impressed. The company's service allows users to choose from various pre-fab templates to create their video ads (think wizards, as in MS Word or Powerpoint) - and then connects them to the scheduling systems of broadcasters across the country. At the time it seemed smart, but strangely retro given the focus on conventional local TV as opposed to the Internet. GigaOm reports, however, that the company plans to "use the new investment to bring its ads to online video, video on demand, and IPTV." That approach makes a lot of sense.
Way back when, in 1995, Grouf co-founded a company called Firefly who's neato concept of an Internet "passport" was picked up by Microsoft and became a key element of the Redmond giant's lumbering .NET initiative. Clearly, Grouf is no stranger to the trials of platform development.
You thought MySpace pages were tiresome, get ready for 30-second video personals to start appearing on a channel near you.
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