Spot Runner Geotargets Cable Media Buys

Movies in limited release often pose a challenge to marketers advertising films across media channels. A homogenous national campaign wasn’t an option for Warner Independent Pictures’ limited release of “The Painted Veil,” so the distributor deployed a localized campaign across national cable operators.

To support an initial December 20 release in New York and Los Angeles, and a roll out to a total of 18 cities by December 29, Warner worked with Spot-Runner on a targeted cable TV buy. Creative was altered to serve local neighborhoods.

“We were able to run a very targeted first campaign in 18 markets,” said Spot Runner Co-Founder David Waxman. “We were able to customize each of the markets to promote the film and theater.”

In each market, the commercial was capped by a message detailing the closest theater showing the film. “The media was bought in a way in which only neighborhoods within striking distance of the theater saw the ad,” said Waxman.

Waxman said the MSO (define) landscape isn’t unified for managing media buys. To run a campaign like this one, Warner or any other advertiser would have to deal with each individual cable operator. The ability to target local markets, and speak to micro-neighborhoods within a market, is a new strategy for independent film houses.

“It will really allow them to focus their dollars in a different way than they were able to market before,” said Waxman.

To target demographically, media buys were made on selected cable channels and shows such as “Inside Actors Studio,” “Mad About You,” and “Talk Soup.”

“With the combination of geographic targeting, and targeting by show and channel, you can get very precise,” Waxman said.

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