Company: Spot Runner, Los Angeles, CA
Company Description: Spot Runner is the first Internet-based ad agency that makes it easy and affordable for local businesses to advertise on TV. With Spot Runner’s revolutionary approach, advertisers can choose from a library of professionally produced ads that can be customized. With its proprietary media planning engine, Spot Runner also creates customized media plans using basic information from the advertiser.
Nomination Category: Company, Office & Product Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Most Innovative Company
Nomination Title: Spot Runner
1. Tell the story about what this nominated company achieved in the past year (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Prior to Spot Runner’s launch in January 2006, television advertising was out
of reach for the average small business owner. It was too expensive, time
consuming and complex to produce a high-quality ad and buy air time. So, only
large businesses with significant advertising budgets were able to access TV.
Now that has changed. The launch of Spot Runner, the first Internet-based ad
agency, has completely upended the way TV advertising is created, bought and
sold – leveling the playing field so that business of all sizes can leverage
this powerful marketing medium.
Spot Runner provides an end-to-end solution to get business on TV quickly,
easily and affordably. To start with, Spot Runner developed a library of
thousands professionally produced ads for virtually any major business
category. Clients can browse the library online, select the best ad for their
business and customize it for less than $500. Spot Runner also developed a
proprietary media planning engine that creates optimal media plans by using
some basic information entered by the advertiser, such as their industry,
target demographics, location and budget. The owner of Memento Press, a photo
bookstore, described his experience saying “Spot Runner made advertising so
easy. The system is absolutely genius.”
Spot Runner’s revolutionary service and rapid customer acquisition has gained
attention from leaders in the media and advertising industry worlds. Steve
Hayden, vice chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, acknowledged the value of
the Spot Runner model. According to Hayden, “The Spot Runner model is simply a
breakthrough in television advertising, and it’s going to change the world of
local advertising.” Darren Dahl, a writer from Inc. magazine echoed these
comments in a piece where he wrote, “There’s a revolution going on in the
television advertising industry led by an enterprising start-up called Spot
Runner.” In addition to being recognized by industry experts, Spot Runner
attracted significant investments. WPP and Interpublic Group, two of the
world’s largest media holding companies and one of the largest mass media
companies in the U.S., CBS, contributed to Spot Runner’s $40 million round of
fundraising in October 2006.
Spot Runner has brought television advertising to new audiences and changed the TV advertising landscape. Its partnerships with franchises such as Coldwell Banker, iSold It and Contours Express and reputable companies like the Diamond Promotion Service have helped to further expand the opportunities for businesses of all sizes to advertise on television. Spot Runner has also proved to be advantageous for larger, national clients who are in search of
quick turnaround times, a cost-effective creative and more efficient and targeted solutions for media buying. Flynn Decker, the VP of Marketing for Steak & Ale restaurants described his experience with Spot Runner by
saying “It’s been a huge success for us. We saw single- to double-digit increases in both sales and traffic in all four locations.” Thus, Spot Runner’s innovative business model has allowed it to make TV advertising available to businesses who never would have considered trying it before.
2. List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:
Spot Runner co-founders Nick Grouf and David Waxman first joined forces in 1995 to create Firefly Network, Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft in 1998. Next, they launched PeoplePC, Inc., which went public in 2000 and was acquired by EarthLink, Inc. in 2002. With several successful startups to their credit, Grouf and Waxman have now turned their considerable creative energy to revolutionizing the advertising industry with the launch of Spot Runner. All of the companies founded by Grouf and Waxman have had one overriding principle: harnessing the democratizing power of the Internet. Spot Runner continues that tradition.