Agency Profile: Red Robot

As advertisers continue to grapple with an environment in which consumers increasingly control their media experiences, Red Robot, a Denver-based agency, helps them navigate the complicated maze of new media technologies.

"There once was a time when you could find a majority of your consumers simply by buying a 30-second spot on NBC on Thursday night," explains Tom Flanagan, CEO of Red Robot. "These days, advertisers are chasing around trying to find that consumer. We know where he is."

The ability to get in front of emerging technologies delivered the two-year-old Red Robot into the boardrooms of Leo Burnett, Carlson Marketing Group, and, among others. Red Robot's clients are familiar with video-on-demand, broadband, and digital video recorders.

"Emerging technologies shouldn't be viewed as a threat. Rather, they're an opportunity," Flanagan explains. "Interactive content is changing, and we must make sure that people can find, experience, and consume it all." Making prototypes of its creative ideas for the Web have proven a key tool when it comes to educating clients. These virtual prototypes contributed greatly when Red Robot recently landed business with extreme skateboarders, including Tony Hawk, to create brand partnerships. "We are often the flashlight in a dark room," Flanagan says.

Flanagan has more than 15 years of Internet, technology, and advertising experience. Prior to launching Red Robot, Flanagan was the founder and CEO of Tybio Inc., a professional services firm based in Philadelphia. His, along with his colleague's credibility in the technology world, helped Red Robot land business, intriguing agencies and advertisers alike.

"These guys are on the cusp of new technology, and we feel that it never hurts to get an outside perspective on the marketplace," notes Larry Bruck, an executive vice president at Leo Burnett who has worked with Red Robot previously.

In the coming months, Red Robot will go public with several new business wins, including the launch of a youth marketing initiative with an auto marketer and a first of its kind baseball fan club affinity program in partnership with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Plans are also underway for a spin-off company tentatively called Red Robot Entertainment. The company's sole purpose will be to create entertainment partnerships backed by major Hollywood studios. Flanagan says he also hopes to begin creating brand new marketing programs for the travel and hospitality industry.

Flanagan remains intrigued with the ability of clients in the near future to broadcast content to cell phones and looks forward to seeing how consumers will embrace this emerging technology. He says that advertisers should do more with video-on-demand technology.

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