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Website’s Contest Makes Play for Small Businesses

Glendale-based website LegalZoom has set up a contest for small-business owners with a prize of $20,000 in TV advertising.

To enter, entrepreneurs must tape a 25-second commercial and upload it to LegalZoom’s Facebook page. A panel of judges will select the finalists and Facebook users will vote in several rounds to choose a winner.

A spokesman for LegalZoom, which sells self-help legal documents online, said the company’s media department will buy the airtime.

“LegalZoom will do its best to tailor the media buy to the winner’s target audience, although not all markets may be available,” he said.

For its part, LegalZoom will boost its Facebook traffic and market itself to entrepreneurs through the submission and voting process. The contest will be managed in-house, not by an advertising or marketing firm.

“With this contest, we want to give a deserving small business national exposure on our dime,” Scott MacDonell, LegalZoom vice president of marketing and advertising, said in a statement.

The contest will run through Dec. 31; the winner will be announced in January. LegalZoom estimates the $20,000 will buy a minimum of 50 local commercials for the winning business owner.

Rising Griffin

Kia Motors’ latest TV campaign with Blake Griffin is the first result of a “global spokesperson” agreement the carmaker signed with the Los Angeles Clippers star in June.

The 30-second commercial, produced by El Segundo-based ad agency David & Goliath, plays off the climactic stunt at last year’s slam-dunk competition, held the day before the National Basketball Association’s All-Star Game. Griffin leaped over a Kia Optima, the sponsor of the event, and stuffed the ball in the hoop to win the contest.

In the new over-the-top David & Goliath commercial, an Optima tows Griffin wearing in-line skates; he ascends a ramp that launches him through the air to a 45-foot-high basketball hoop, grabs a ball in midair and dunks.

David & Goliath will produce other Griffin-starring ads for broadcast this fall. He will also appear at Kia events, and participate through social media and philanthropic programs to promote the Irvine-based carmaker.

Corporate-Tech

PR agency Wonacott Communications in Los Angeles has started a division to help emerging technology companies establish and strengthen their image among executives at large corporations.

Wonacott’s clients are mostly fast-growth firms in the mobile, new-media, advertising and technology sectors that do business with corporations.

“Companies pioneering the explosive growth of convergent technology have a real need for partners who understand their complex communications,” Chief Executive Jason Wonacott said in a statement. “We understand and have a track record of working to establish corporate reputations for companies.”

The new corporate and convergence practice will use traditional campaigns as well as online social media to reach the corporate crowd. Sara Campbell, a senior consultant at Wonacott who worked on campaigns for InComm and BilltoMobile, will lead the new division.

GSTV Goes Local

Gas Station TV, a national network of gas-pump screens based in Birmingham, Mich., has opened an L.A. sales office with Adam Griego as manager.

Gene Sanderfield, general manager of the company’s local sales division, said the company has launched a service so small-business advertisers can show commercials near their stores, and the L.A. office is part of the local strategy.

“The Los Angeles area is very important to us and hiring Adam will increase our ability to offer customized solutions to local advertisers,” Sanderfield said in a statement.

Gas Station TV appears on screens at Arco, BP, Chevron, Conoco, Exxon-Mobil and Shell outlets.

Agencies & Accounts

Matt Klink, former partner at PR agency Cerrell Associates, has left to join Philip Morris International in Lausanne, Switzerland. The company has hired attorney Steve Levin to assume some of Klink’s former responsibilities as president of the campaigns and issues management practice. … Murphy O’Brien Public Relations, a PR agency in Santa Monica that specializes in tourism, has four new clients: Toscana Country Club in Indian Wells; Courtyard Kaua’i at Coconut Beach in Kapaa, Hawaii; Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio; and Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. The shop will work on media placements for all four. … Ad agency R&R Partners has created a Hispanic marketing division called R&R Ala Latina. The shop will be housed in R&R’s L.A. office and led by Andy Maroglio and Manuel Huici. R&R is based in Las Vegas. … TBWAChiatDay in Playa del Rey has hired Karl Dunn to work as creative director on the Nissan account. His first assignment is Nissan’s “Innovation for All” campaign. Dunn transferred from TBWA/Hunt Lascaris in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. TBWA is part of New York-based Omnicom Group. … Axen Research, a market research firm in Silver Lake, has hired Giovanni Riggioni as managing director. With the addition of Riggioni, former executive director of global research at Warner Home Entertainment, Axen plans to expand its client base into the entertainment sector. … Santa Monica ad agency 180LA has a new client in Constellation Wines, a holding company for spirit brands. The agency will produce traditional advertising, digital promotions and in-store materials to promote Kim Crawford Wines, an import from New Zealand. The first Kim Crawford campaign will break in March.

Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at jrussell@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.

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