Amsterdam-based Spotzer, which creates multimedia video ad campaigns for small and medium-sized businesses, announced it has acquired a 10 million euro (US$14.8 million) investment from the U.S. venture capital firm Sierra Partners and European Directories, a print and online directory publisher with operations in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Gibraltar, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Sweden.
Along with the investment, Spotzer also announced a new platform that, to quote the press release, “allows small and mid-sized businesses to create a professional commercial in 30 minutes. The new platform also introduces enhanced tools for planning and buying media across television, the Web and out-of-home TV networks.” Here is some coverage from AdWeek that talks about how this announcement positions Spotzer more clearly in competition with Spot Runner.
European Directories will serve as a laboratory of sorts for Spotzer, launching test markets for different models for selling video ads, as well as more sophisticated media consulting services, through a directory sales channel.
One model will be to sell video ad creation services for SMBs, bundled in with directory advertising, focused on distributing the video content through the publisher’s proprietary IYP. Another approach Spotzer and European Directories plan to test will focus more on providing a scalable media buying service to SMBs that is focused on placement in other media as well as the IYP.
Spotzer CEO Andy Klein told us this morning that he fully understands the trials will not get the model right the first try, but he hopes the tests through European Directories will help Spotzer find the right approach for selling its services through channel partners. Obviously, this benefits European Directories as well as Spotzer, since the publisher will have a running start in developing an effective video advertising sales model in Europe. Klein says Spotzer is also in serious talks with European newspaper publishers.
Spotzer has some Yellow Pages presence on its team. Lex Cohen, formerly CEO of European Directories, is a board member, and Valerie Taylor, former head of Platefood, is a senior vice president.