Cheap TV advertising… Digital camera sales fall… Webcam top picks… Mobile data is hot

A new way to make TV advertising on the cheap

Television advertising is expensive. Too expensive for most SMEs, but it reaches mass audiences in a way that the internet and mobile advertising can’t. Los Angeles-based Spot Runner offers a solution, and has made television advertising fast, easy and affordable for local businesses to advertise on television, reports Springwise.

The entire process is online and automated. Customers pick from a wide range of ready-made videos that are tailor-made to their industry. After selecting an ad, the business customises voice-over text and on-screen information, and tells Spot Runner how much it would like to spend on air time and which markets the ad should run in. Complete campaigns, including production and airtime, start at $US1500 and can be up and running within weeks.

The ads are not unique, but they are of a quality that would otherwise be difficult for local SMEs to afford. And there is no need to deal with an agency or media planner. It is very comparable to Google’s AdWords approach to advertising online.

Spot Runner also operates a franchise advertising program that lets franchisees select commercials from a library of ad templates, and customise them with their own information, content and images, which gives local franchisees more control over their marketing campaigns, while maintaining a consistent national brand identity. Franchisee partnerships include women’s fitness centres Contours Express, eBay drop-off stores iSold It and real estate agency Century 21.

Who will be the first to start this up here?


Digital camera sales in decline

Many people are on to their second or third digital camera and the market is now mature according to research house GfK Australia. After years of rapid growth, sales of digital cameras fell by 1.4% in 2006 to $1.87 million, compared to 2006, reports The Australian Financial Review.

Critics of the industry reckon image quality is declining because manufacturers are responding to consumer demand for lots of megapixels in tiny cameras. They say it is just not possible yet to get the same quality image in pocket-sized cameras. It could be a case of the old technology being better than the new.


Top webcams

In the world of born-global business, you can’t afford not to have effective online communication systems. Choice has done its bit to help your make your online communication as clear as possible by rating webcams priced $100 or less. Their top three are:

CyberSnipa Scout ($50): Good image and video quality, a large range of compatible software and excellent usability put the CyberSnipa ahead of the pack. And $50? Bargain.

Microsoft LifeCam vX-3000 ($100): Not only does the Lifecam have high quality image and video performance, it comes with a bundle of features that really make a difference – good microphone, fast tracking speed and the ability to clip on to a range of surfaces put this one ahead of the pack.

Creative WebCam Instant Skype Edition ($60): Thirty minutes Skype credit is a good start, very good software is even better. Video isn’t quite at the same level of the top two and there is no inbuilt microphone, but overall a very nifty little device indeed.


Mobile data service – we want them…for free

It looks like internet habits are spreading to information services available via mobile phone. A quarter of mobile users used news, weather or other information services in the past year, but research shows that consumers are reluctant to pay much for them, reports The Australian Financial Review.

The Australian Mobile Phone Lifecycle Index surveyed 3735 people and found half would accept advertising to subsidise the cost of content. This is good news for content providers and carriers as they quibble over revenue splits.


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