Spotzer Expands in U.S.

LOS ANGELES After developing core assets in Europe, Spotzer of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is making a move into the U.S. market, adding executive positions in New York and in Emeryville, Calif.
The company has developed a model, similar to competitor Spot Runner, for selling media time at deep discounts along with pre-made commercial modules, said Andrew Klein, chairman and CEO.

Spotzer has produced up to 100 commercial modules per week in places like Kiev, Russia, Klein said. There are about 500 commercial modules currently online.

How does Klein differentiate his service from rivals? “Some of our competitors buy remnants and mark it up too high to people who don’t know the difference,” he said. “They aim too low. People who only want to spend $500 to be on television shouldn’t be on television. We’re aiming at advertisers who haven’t leaped to video, but might be doing radio, newspaper or Yellow Pages already. … The big opportunity is in the middle.”
Thed Lenssen, who has directed commercials for Heineken, Philips and Volkswagen, among other international brands, is the company’s creative director. In January, Spotzer hired Tamar van de Paal from WPP Group’s Wunderman to run the virtual ad creation studio.
Klein said the company, which operates in five countries, would make a concerted effort to find clients on the local level. “The basic media insights are useful across locations and cultures,” he added. “The needs of a furniture store in northern California are much the same as in France or Scotland, for example. What’s absolutely clear is that humor and emotion are far and away the best way to communicate.”
New hires include Jule Albanese as vp of U.S. sales. Albanese’s background includes executive sales experience at credit-monitoring companies Equifax and Experian as well as Dataquick and InfoUSA. John Pike and Tracy Bishop were named sales directors of the East and West regions, respectively. Previously, Pike worked for Tribune, and CareerBuilder. Bishop worked in media sales at the San Francisco Chronicle, among other firms.