At the beginning of May, Google announced the release of their new TV Ads Service. Spot Runner has been running a very similar program for over a year with great success. Here are some of the key differences between the two services: Click Here for Spot Runner’s Official Response to This Post

Google TV sem GOOGLE TV ADs
Customers can select videos from many qualified ad creators; outside vendors will customize your video from as low as $500 and up. Customers can select from a huge video library, Spot Runner charges a modest fee of $499 to personalize your video
You own the ad, you can make future modifications. Spot Runner owns and controls your ads unless you bring an ad into the network. Update.
The minimum amount for a television schedule is $250 per day. There is no minimum amount.
Google will place your ad according to a bid process. The ad spots are sold in online auctions 24 hours before airtime. Spot Runner manages your ads according to your budget and preferences and they negotiate on your behalf. Update
You can buy your own airtime. Spot Runner controls when and where your ad will show. You will be made aware of what channel your ad is showing on and of the dayparting info. Update
You can block shows that you would not like to advertise. You can work with Spot Runner to determine the appropriate channels and they can negotiate specific shows on your behalf.
You can buy local and nationwide ads, the local ads are only offered in a few selective areas. You can buy local and national ads.(see article)
Cannot run any political ads You are allowed to run political ads
Ability to choose specific TV program. You do not have the ability choose specific TV programs, however Spot Runner can negotiate specific programs on your behalf.
Monitor in advance when your ad will air ahead of time. Spot Runner controls when and where your ads will show. Update
You can control when and where each TV ad will show Clients are made aware of when and where their ad will air in advance.
Ads air only in 125 DISH Network™ channels, the fastest-growing pay-TV provider in the country since 2000 and currently serves more than 13.1 million satellite TV customers. (see details) Greater broadcast than Google, with mostly cable providers which provide larger coverage. **Dish Network and other direct broadcast combined reach less than 17% of U.S. households, according to Nielsen Media Research (source Spot Runner FAQ section).

Google seems to have a very affordable solution when it comes to placing, controlling and tracking your TV campaign performance, however they do not have the user-friendly video production capabilities of Spot Runner. On the other hand you might say that, Google, acting only as an efficient broker on the video creation process, will begin gobbling up Spot Runner’s market share in the long run so long as nothing changes between the two – After all, Google’s specialty is to provide a user friendly interface to manage and control your Internet (and TV) marketing efforts, not to directly create or produce websites or TV ads. Spot Runner seems like they try to do-it-all. Google TV allows many small to medium size companies to enter the TV media with a limited budget. Unlike Spot Runner, the management and control for TV commercials is also fully integrated with other Internet marketing campaigns through Adwords, so a professional Search Engine Marketing firm can measure and control the effectiveness of your TV ads sending potential buyers to an online website, and further track in greater details your total return on investment. Read Spot Runner’s Official Response to This Post.


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Dennis Wong • 10 years ago

Wow - great advertising piece for Google. Who wrote the article and comparison. Many facts were left out of the piece…..nice piece of creative writing! Great job Google…nice self promotion.

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Mike Shannon • 10 years ago

Hi Dennis. Each author is listed with each blog post. If you think there are facts left out, please provide any relevant information to help fill gaps we’ve missed. We certainly appreciate any correcting you may have and love to learn new things. On another note, you’re right that Google hasn’t currently “beat” Spot Runner, but this is not what was written, we presented more of a future prediction based on the information we know today.

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Matt Clark • 10 years ago

I feel it necessary to correct a few omissions and errors in your comparison.

Selecting videos: Spot Runner customers have the option of EITHER selecting a video from the library for $500 OR using a video they have either produced themselves or procured from a third party. In other words, Google only lets you use external videos, whereas Spot Runner does that and also gives you the option of using one from the library.

Owning the ad: With Spot Runner, if you submit an ad that was created by you or a third party, you own the ad, just like with Google. No difference there. If you use one of the ads from the Spot Runner library, Spot Runner retains ownership of the template.

Controlling negotiations/bidding: Keep in mind that Google can only do this because they have essentially bought a large amount of inventory in bulk from DISH. Whether or not that is a scalable approach remains to be seen.

“You can buy local and national advertisers”: I’m not sure what this means – how does one buy an advertiser?

“All direct broadcast combined reach less than 17% of U.S. households”: This refers to satellite direct broadcast, so this one should be over in the Google column. In fact, Google can’t even hit 17%, since DISH’s 13.1 million households are less than 12% of all households in the U.S. with televisions (110 million as per 2006 Census data). Spot Runner can get you up to 13.1 million households with just Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Houston. Spot Runner also gets you both local broadcast and cable networks in most markets.

Also, one of the biggest omissions is the issue of geographic targeting. With Google you can either run an ad that displays nationally (or you can target specifically only Walnut Creek and Concord, CA – hardly a wide selection). Spot Runner will let you target just about any city in the US, and in many cities go one step further and target individual neighborhoods very precisely.

Overall it seems like you wrote this piece starting from the position that Google offered a superior service – maybe that’s not the case, but if you want to really do a fair comparison, you should include the information laid out above.

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