Bright Idea Column
Go to any advertising agency and you'll find filing cabinets stuffed
with hidden treasure - high-quality commercials produced for clients
that no longer want them. Visit many mom-and-pop businesses, meanwhile,
and you'll find aspiring advertisers who can't afford big-budget
ad shoots. Denver-based Thought Equity is exploiting this mismatch
by brokering the sale of new and "pre-aired" ads to local
Promotion-starved small companies can select from Thought Equity's
online library of ready-to-recycle commercials, collected from more
than 300 ad agencies. Thought Equity handles the rights and royalties
and ensures that an ad is resold only once within a region. Advertisers
get slick commercials on the cheap, while agencies earn extra cash
if their ads are reused.
Earlier this year, for example, Brian Singleton, marketing manager
for Budget Rent A Car in Las Vegas, wanted to promote the local
franchise's Hummer rentals. Enter Thought Equity, where Singleton
found a 2003 commercial that shows a man squeezing his face to simulate
high-speed acceleration. The ad was originally developed for a BMW
customer in Atlanta, but Singleton purchased it for $1200 and added
a new Budget tagline. He loved the results.
Thought Equity's prospects seem to be accelerating as well. The
company expects revenue from ad recycling to triple by 2005.