Spot Runner Signing Brands for Local Co-op Ads

Spot Runner, the year-old company that uses the Internet to inexpensively produce and place local TV ads for small businesses, has revealed some new directions. While it is still pursuing ad campaigns with local businesses, which number "in the thousands," it is also going after national brands that can partner with local stores or agents and split costs on a co-op basis.

According to VP Tim Lambert and business development executive Sanjay Sharma, Spot Runner has specifically landed co-op deals with two brands: Ortho-Clear, a "transparent dental alignment" provider that partners with local dentists and tooth-care companies, and DeBeers, the diamond company that partners with local jewelers.

Separately, Spot Runner is working with Cendant, the holding company for Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sothebys and ERA, to resell TV campaigns for its assorted Realtors. Cendant, however, is probably acting more in a reseller capacity than providing co-op support, since it sees agent support as a profit center in itself. Whatever the arrangement, packages, including consultations, use of ad library video and customization, begin at about $500 a month. Entire campaigns can be done for about $1,500.

In addition to TV spots, Lambert and Sharma say the company is planning radio campaigns, since audio tracks have already been produced as a byproduct of the TV ad. Internet-based TV ads are also "definitely" being looked at. The company has about 120 people in its New York and L.A. offices, with the vast majority of those being "creatives" who customize the ads.

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