• Aquiles La Grave

Bogusky-Backed Brandzooka Enables 13-Year-Olds To Compete With Madison Ave., Big Brands Too

This article appeared on MediaPost by Joe Mandese

Madison Avenue renegade Alex Bogusky, closed a second round of funding.

It is on track for a “series A” round later this year that will help accelerate its growth. But it’s already on its way.

The Boulder, Colorado-based startup’s revenues grew 1,600% in 2016 and boast 6,000 registered clients.

While many of those customers are smaller long-tail players, it has already attracted business from some of the ad industry’s biggest, including the Tropicana brand and its agency, Dentsu Aegis experiential unit MKTG.

Other big brands utilizing the platform include Apple, Audi, Jansport, Progressive, and the White House. Yes, the White House.

While big brands are discovering the power and simplicity of Brandzooka to mount digital video advertising campaigns, Founder-CEO Aquiles La Grave says it has also attracted a fervent base of the longest-tail brands as users.

“We were recently reviewed by a 13-year-old kid who was telling his friends to use their allowance money to use Brandzooka to promote their YouTube channels,” La Grave explains, adding, “It works for brands of any size.”

La Grave says the growth of its customer base is a testament to the quality of the platform itself, because it effectively practices what it preaches, utilizing efficient programmatic media-buying markets to promote itself to new customers.

Of the 6,000 that have signed up to utilize the platform to date, La Grave estimates that about half are actively utilizing it to create video campaigns and distribute them to audiences via programmatic media-buying markets.

Brandzooka combines a simple front-end interface enabling even the smallest and least sophisticated customers to turn their video assets into optimized video advertising formats that can then be served to audiences acquired through programmatic exchanges utilizing DSPs (demand-side platforms) for budgets of any size.

In effect, Brandzooka has pulled off what predecessors, such as now-defunct SpotRunner, Google TV Ads and Microsoft’s Navic, tried but failed to achieve: a long-tail marketplace enabling the smallest advertisers in the world to compete with Madison Avenue’s biggest.

While Brandzooka doesn’t utilize TV inventory -- yet -- it accomplishes the same goals by giving customers video ad creation tools and enabling them to acquire and scale digital video audiences that meet their budget goals.

“It’s easy enough for a 13-year-old, but sophisticated enough for a Tropicana,” La Grave quips. He adds it fulfills a vision he and Bogusky developed of completely “automating the media buyer, which is the last piece of the human remnants of the deployment of media online.”

He claims Brandzooka’s self-serve interface is capable of taking “95% of the decisions a media buyer makes” -- elements audience targets, frequency caps, sources of inventory, sources of DMP data, etc. -- and “fully automate it within a Brandzooka campaign.

“The only thing a customer has to answer is: Who do you want to reach, what are they interested in, where are they, and what do you want to talk to them about,” he explains, adding, “If you can answer those questions, it is literally enough to create a campaign with our platform.”

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