Why Matt Spiegel Left Omnicom for a Gaming Startup


Matt Spiegel was a top executive at marquee ad holding company Omnicom Group. But he’s leaving it to scratch his entrepreneurial itch at fledgling mobile gaming ad startup Tap.me.

Spiegel, who as CEO of Omnicom’s OMG Digital led itsAccuen trading desk unit, joined Tap.me as its chief executive following six years at Omnicom. The reason: He sees an opportunity in mobile to finally deliver on the promise of advertising that’s user-initiated, effective and welcome to the media experience.

Tap.me uses a “Power Up” menu item in mobile gaming apps. Hitting the button brings users a menu of choices for game enhancements, brought to them by brands in exchange for about 10 seconds of advertising. For instance, Gatorade might align itself with an option to gain endurance in a game.

“The founders come from game industry,” Spiegel said. “The way us ad industry guys who have come into the space and applied our methods to games haven’t worked very well.”

Tap.me isn’t alone in going this route. Kiip is a startup that is banking on new methods of advertising led by the gaming industry. Kiip matches advertisers with gamers based on awarding them with product samples when the gamer achieves a new level.

These efforts, Spiegel believes, will point the way to the kind of better, less-instrusive advertising that the Internet always promised but failed to deliver. Spiegel, who joined Omnicom after it purchased the search marketing firm he founded, Resolution Media, sees the opportunity to bring his knowledge of the emerging automated, programmatic ad-buying world to this new area.

“If you look at what the trading desk, automated-buying space is about, it’s two fundamental things: making it easier to execute ad buys in our industry and understanding who you are reaching and creating better ads based on data,” he said. “For me the games space is ripe for the same reality.”


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