A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week: Innovative Images.
What: Innovative Images
The story: Started in 2004 to license Ad-Plug, a patented advertising form for CDs and DVDs holding music, games, movies or software. Ad-Plug covers the “hole” in the disk with a removable sticker that creates new “real estate” for advertising, potentially creating a new revenue stream. The stickers may include RFID chips for anti-piracy and anti-theft purposes.
Secret sauce: Ad-Plug requires consumers to interact with the medium — you must peel the plug to expose the hole and use the disc.
Key executive: The product was invented by Chief Executive Warren Weber, who has worked as a designer and engineer for aerospace and medical-device manufacturers, including Boeing, Lockheed and Hughes Optical.
Leadership team: Michael Nesheim, Brian Henderson, Andrew Steagall, Ann Weber and Robert Dootson.
Inventor’s spark: Warren Weber was designing graphics for the face of CDs and “becoming tired of having to pose animals and people around the hole.” The idea for Ad-Plug came to him in his sleep: “It just came to me, there’s got to be some way to plug the hole, and then I said ‘plug the hole!’ ” He ran downstairs and began working out the product on his computer.
Financing: Private funding.
Potential customers: The company is just beginning to market the licenses to manufacturers, distributors and vendors working with optical disc media.
Market opportunity: Consumers are spending billions yearly on CDs and DVDs. Game advertising is also growing and expected to approach $1 billion by the end of the decade.
Slogan: “We Own The Hole”
Last book Weber read: “Business@The Speed of Thought — Using A Digital Nervous System,” by Bill Gates.
His favorite game: “Halo 2”
Web site: http://www.ad-plug.com/index_pc.html
— Brier Dudley