When we last heard from Spot Runner ("TV Advertising for the Rest of Us," June 2006), the Los Angeles-based company was trying to change the way small businesses advertised on TV. The company maintains an online library of prepackaged TV ads -- professionally produced, customizable 30-second spots that can be purchased for as little as $499. Now, Spot Runner, which recently raised $51 million in a Series C round, has targeted the political world. Using technology that draws on voter records and census and donor data, Spot Runner's political ads allow candidates to identify and reach critical districts and can be tailored to take on even divisive issues such as education and immigration. The program is expected to be most popular in local races. Candidates in 17 states have used Spot Runner thus far, including two recent winners: Bob Marshall, a Virginia state legislator, and Bob Briggs, a Westminster, Colorado, city councilor, both of whom were part of a test program last fall. "I didn't think I could afford TV," Briggs says, "but the process they outlined for me made it very reasonable."
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