CANNES – If the powers that be at FreeWheel Advertisers could snap their fingers and make it happen, buying video across platforms would be as simple as buying a spot on traditional television has been for decades. Until then, their vehicle for achieving this goal is the company formerly known as Strata—now FreeWheel Advertisers.
“It’s still very cumbersome and difficult for advertisers to buy TV across screen and we all on the inside know the labor and intricacies of those challenges,” says Joy Baer, President, FreeWheel Advertisers, FreeWheel, which is a Comcast company.
FreeWheel Advertisers processes roughly one-quarter of total U.S. ad spend annually, servicing 7,500 media buyers at 1,200 media buying agencies and in-house advertisers in the U.S. and Europe. In this interview with Beet.TV at the recent Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Baer explains the ramifications of cross-screen buying challenges for her clients.
“They in turn create real significant margin problems for the agencies because they’re under such pressure to begin with. Their only solution to really solve for TV meaningfully is to throw additional investment and throw additional bodies at the problem.”
FreeWheel Advertisers is bringing to bear measurement and technical capabilities “so that TV can be as easy to buy as a spot was fifteen, twenty years ago,” says Baer, who started at Strata in 2007.
Many agencies maintain a completely separate digital department while using a whole host of tools to buy digital media, and there’s a crossover. “The digital platforms that they use in the space are DSP’s and DMP’s to help them target and make sense of different audiences and make sense of the data that’s available out there to target television today.”
Nonetheless, it’s not enough to reach “the real living room, to actually get to where television has its largest impact,” Baer adds. “We have to get to a cross-screen solution and combine the capabilities of these DSP’s with our platforms that work so well in linear. And that’s exactly what FreeWheel and FreeWheel Advertisers endeavors to do.”