Average Ads for Average People

Actually, it should be "Above Average Ads".

Robert Dow wonders about SpotRunner. The idea is pretty simple. With the explosion of cable and other local media, there is a huge inventory of local ads, which means that they’re cheap. So businesses that might not never have run TV ads (local real estate brokers, or IT geek squads) are buying local TV.

Just because it’s local doesn’t mean it has to be bad.

SpotRunner has a slew of beautifully-filmed innocuous ads on file. Find one, they personalize it at the end and you’re in business. Suddenly, you’ve got tree frogs in your apartment finder ads, while your competition is running homemade stuff.

The good news here is that:
a. it becomes astonishingly easy to test local TV. And if you’re local, you should (you must!)
b. it raises the game for the quality of media in every market.

The bad news is that these are, by definition, standardized, sort of average ads. Ads that don’t spread, ads that get you part of the way, but not all the way to what a great ad can do.

Houses used to be designed one at a time, by architects. Clothing used to be tailored, one at a time, by tailors. Dinner used to be cooked, one plate at a time, by chefs. Mass markets reject handmade, one-off craftsmanship. It’s inevitable that ads were next.