Case Study: The Athlete’s Foot steps into programmatic TV

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 5 October 2016

The Athlete’s Foot (TAF) wanted to raise awareness and increase sales for the launch of the new ASICS Nimbus model.

The target audience was identified as ‘fit-for-lifers’ – those who genuinely engage in active pursuits, as opposed to those who wear active wear to brunch. As a proven channel for driving brand awareness, TAF wanted to connect with this audience via television.

Its media agency, Initiative, expressed concerns that the high cost of TV placements would restrict their ability to reach the audience at scale within available investment. Initiative wanted to give ‘PB’ a new meaning for The Athlete’s Foot, by applying the specificity of programmatic buying in the TV environment.

Through its specialised programmatic team Cadreon, Initiative leveraged TubeMogul’s programmatic TV (PTV) solution. It provided new strategic data sets to identify the ‘fit-for-lifers’ audience segment within the male 25-54 demo and executed a TV buy against this audience. Spot placements were monitored daily and optimised to drive delivery against TAF’s strategic target. The campaign was measured against standard metrics, along with a research study to evaluate the effectiveness of programmatic TV vs. metro TV. It delivered on all fronts.

The challenge

Harness the available investment to drive awareness and foot traffic in-store to maximise sales for the ASICS Nimbus model during TAF’s three-week exclusive selling window.

What were the hurdles?

  • TAF’S traditional TV strategy mandated presence in costly primetime programming and live sport
  • Younger audiences are consuming less traditional TV
  • TV rates were inflating while the client’s budget was challenged

The solution

Cadreon used the TubeMogul programmatic TV offering to minimise wastage and reach the ‘fit-for-life’ audience with digital-level granularity, while delivering to a requirement of being present in peak programming.

The PTV product used Nielsen CMV data to create a custom ‘fit-for-life’ segment of individuals who had participated in, watched or attended AFL, rugby union, NRL, soccer, cricket, golf or surfing in the previous 12 months. The TV viewing behaviour of this audience was then identified across all channels and day-parts using TubeMogul’s OzTAM and CMV fused data set.

TubeMogul’s programmatic TV solution married these with rates from the broadcasters to:

  • Benchmark TAF’s historical CPM against this more specific and defined audience, and;
  • Propose a new schedule that would be more efficient than the historical CPM while still respecting TAF’s requirements of national coverage and minimum delivery in peak programming 

Once live, daily delivery was monitored against the strategic audience target and optimisations were made to the spot schedule on the fly, to ensure the campaign met its delivery objectives.


The results of the campaign “surpassed expectations”. Importantly, the activity delivered to all reach and frequency goals. The data-driven approach also provided a new lens with which to value TV spots and significantly increased the chances of connecting with the right audience – decreasing wastage by over 23% from the standard TV buying demo of P25-54. The campaign delivered:

  •  An improvement in TAF’s historical strategic CPM by 25%
  • A 14% higher volume of on-target impressions to the strategic audience than originally forecast
  •  Coverage in peak programming including the AFL and less than 15% midnight-dawn

The campaign also impacted a number of brand metrics positively (43% higher brand awareness compared to standard metro TV) but ultimately The Athlete’s Foot saw a 32.7% increase in sales year on year 


Setting a new PB for reaching ‘fit-for-lifers’ has seen TAF embrace programmatic TV buying; opening up more opportunities for Initiative and Cadreon to utilise TubeMogul’s data-driven TV solution for future campaigns.

Head of marketing at The Athlete’s Foot, Caroline Squire, said: “Eliminating wastage in our media spend to ensure we are targeting customers with the highest propensity to cross our lease line is a critical part of delivering value to our brand and our franchisees. 

“The performance and flexibility of Initiative’s solution delivered on this objective, along with giving us greater insights into the media habits of our customers.” 

Want more on programmatic TV?

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Programmatic TV – a race to the top

Why are advertisers so excited by programmatic TV?

Programmatic TV: the big challenges

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