Famous Footwear Begins Buying FEP Ads Via Programmatic

Editor's Note: The initial version of this article incorrectly stated that ABC was participating on the FreeWheel FourFronts marketplace.

Independent media agency Empower MediaMarketing has announced that its clients can now buy Full Episode Player (FEP) video ads via programmatic.

The agency plugged into FreeWheel for ad serving and video supply and expanded a relationship with TubeMogul to get access to programmatic buying technology.

The first Empower client to use programmatic for FEP buying is Famous Footwear. Per James Rooke, GM of premium marketplaces at FreeWheel, marketers will be able to use their own data to target audiences across FreeWheel’s supply.

It is a significant move because at this time last year, FEP inventory was not a likely candidate for programmatic.

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In an interview with Media Village posted in November 2014, Julian Zilberbrand, EVP of activation standards, insights and technology at Zenith, about programmatic video. In the interview, Zilberbrand said, “The majority of the video that advertisers truly want to play in consists of FEP [full episodic player] inventory that is less likely to be traded programmatically.”

“We’ve evolved our media and marketing efforts to move from generalized to personalized,” stated Famous Footwear CMO Will Smith. The company is buying FEP advertising via programmatic for its back-to-school marketing campaign.

It is not real-time bidding (RTB) -- FreeWheel’s marketplace is more of a “programmatic direct” offering where the buys are guaranteed. It was not revealed exactly which inventory Famous Footwear bought, but FreeWheel’s programmatic video marketplace is home to premium inventory, with participation from A+E Networks, Discovery Communications and more.

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