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Special Project

Special Project
From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

FreeWheel's Now You Can

Entered in Multi-Platform Campaign, Medium-Length Video


Through the Now You Can brand campaign, our goal was to establish FreeWheel as the most valuable TV advertising partner for buyers and sellers in the industry. Our company has transformed from being a well-known ad server for video publishers, to an industry leader that powers the buying and selling of TV advertising in a leading marketplace.

We aimed to develop a compelling brand campaign that tells the FreeWheel story in a consistent way that is relevant for all business units. This was a difficult challenge since FreeWheel acquired various companies within the last few years including Sticky Ads, Visible World, AudienceXpress, Strata, and Adazzle. Furthermore, our growing FreeWheel Markets business was not well known because of legacy perception. With this in mind, our objective was to generate brand awareness and establish our brand as the most valuable TV advertising marketplace for buyers and sellers.

We focused on a number of initiatives to support our brand campaign including a “fewer, bigger, better” event strategy, an employee social advocacy campaign, a massive website relaunch, and an out-of-home advertising campaign. We looked to attain a higher volume of sales meetings and ROI from each event, increased our social media outreach, and amplified website traffic following our site’s relaunch.

Strategy and Execution

FreeWheel’s bold campaign was focused on media reinvention that clients need and never thought was possible. The campaign’s hook that drives this positioning home is Now You Can. This messaging speaks directly to the innovation, enablement and control we provide to our clients across all media. The language was simple, repeatable, and shared a positive attitude.

The “Now” part of the message is especially important. Unlike competitors who promise future solutions, our platforms are developed, tested and delivering today for the most sophisticated publishers, advertisers and agencies in the world.

Our wheel was the unifying and iconic design element in connecting our brand campaign. The wheel was inspired by the “wheel” in FreeWheel and symbolizes how our platform unites technology, supply, and demand to power the new generation of TV advertising. The gradient effect on the wheel symbolizes the constant and gradual change in technology and how FreeWheel is always adaptive.


Alongside our gradient wheel, we featured rich and bold photography behind the wheel which showcased consumers and media professionals. While ad-tech competitors often use images of customers on devices within a cluttered environment, we focused on consumers enjoying media.

In tandem with our featured rich and bold photography, our daring use of color used in the Now You Can brand campaign catches the eye and makes FreeWheel stand out from our competitors.

To bring our campaign’s strategy and messaging to life, we focused on 5 main B2B tactics:

  1. Refresh and define our brand identity: We transformed our story to highlight the problems we solve for our customer first and how we solve them second. We also launched an OOH advertising campaign with elevator advertising and digital subway station boards.
  2. Revamp our website: The new website has a cleaner, bolder look, intuitive navigation, and mobile optimization. We also went away from our legacy site which was ad server focused and moved over our business domain to
  3. Accelerate our thought leadership: We focused on earned speaking engagements rather than paid speaking opportunities. We also built a better user navigation experience across all insights and blog related content.
  4. Amplify our social presence: The campaign also included a mix of broad reach through publications including AdAge, eMarketer, MediaPost and SmartBrief as well as targeted digital buys through AdAge, eMarketer, Programmatic, LinkedIn and Google display.
  5. Focused event strategy: We wanted fewer events so that we could focus our resources on bigger and better events. This includes going bigger on owned and operated events such as CES, our annual NOWFRONT, and User Summit.



Our Now You Can brand campaign included a number of initiatives to support FreeWheel’s brand launch including owned and operated events, industry events, an employee social advocacy campaign, a massive website relaunch, and an OOH advertising campaign.

Our audience now perceives FreeWheel as a bold, savvy, driven and highly confident brand. We are no longer a humble ad server just for publishers. We expanded our marketplace by launching FreeWheel Media and initially communicating more product and service offerings to our clients during our inaugural owned and operated NOWFRONT. From this initial event and product launch, we were able to generate $27M in booked revenue.

Though our employee social advocacy campaign, 600 employees shared our Now You Can sizzle reel. We had over 2 million impressions and more than 3000 clicks. We also engaged with 107,878 new website users.

We gained 430 new blog subscribers to our new website promoting Now You Can and its messaging. We leveraged our partnerships to participate in more earned speaking engagements. During Cannes, we became the center of the conversation and were the #6 most active tweeter.

We also sparked curiosity and reached various agencies in NY through our OOH campaign based on our increase in RFP submissions. With elevator advertising and digital subway station boards, we targeted the biggest agencies in New York. We saw a 33% increase in RFP submissions in September and October compared to May and June when the campaign wasn’t running.


Video for FreeWheel's Now You Can

Entrant Company / Organization Name

FreeWheel, (Supporting Creative Agency: Yamamoto)


Entry Credits