01 November 2014

Automatic Advertising: We Take Spotomate for a Test Drive

Software can make your 30-second TV commercial.

You knew this would happen.  Not just because technology makes the software possible, but because newly-available media makes it necessary.

There's the first screen (TV), second screen (computer), third screen (mobile), fourth screen (digital signage) and all of them are hungry for content -- and advertising.

Technology has been busy democratizing the science of advertising.  Small business is able to do SEO, SEM and Social Media without an agency, as did my friend the garage door expert.  So why not video advertising creative?

Along comes Spotomate, which via its partner Shakr, offers a service allowing small- and medium-sized businesses to make "your own agency-quality video advertising spots".  They're targeting operators of digital signage networks (see industry coverage here and here), but I decided to experiment with it myself during a free trial open until Thursday.

Voilà… Ad Majorem's First Ads

How it works:  You pick one of their pre-set templates, it runs you through the places where you must write copy or provide a visual asset, and automatically sequences these with graphics and a music bed.  So here were two attempts using our masthead copy and experimenting with different visuals.

Here's What I Thought About Spotomate

Agencies, for the most part, shouldn't worry.  True, I did once have a colleague who believed in "campaign construction", i.e., every 30-second TV commercial for a brand had to have the same sequence of scenes, but most big advertisers want customized treatment.

Small- and Medium-sized businesses will love Spotomate, though.  In fact the templates may help inexperienced advertisers to organize their thoughts and force decisions as to what should or shouldn't go in the ad.

In other words, one still needs a smart brief, and I'm not sure that will ever be automatic.

What do you think of Spotomate?  What did you think of my, uh, "ads"?  Go ahead, hit me with your best shot in the comments section below.


  1. Knowing you, and what you have to offer through this blog and personally, these "spots" fail to capture what you truly do - educate, inform and inspire advertising to question what we do. But that's just me.

    1. Totally agree with your opinion, amigo -- and appreciate the kind way you express it. You could have been a diplomatic account guy!

  2. Well, many small businesses try to do SEO/SEM/& social media marketing on their own but unless they've had training, they do not do it well nor enough. Great post, Steve. Derek makes a nice point, too.

  3. Replies
    1. As I wrote, agencies need not worry. I do wonder, though, how and whether this technology will develop in the next five years.

      For now, this is really something for SMB.

  4. Thank you so much for writing this awesome information! Looking forward to reading more.

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