Programmatic network for fashion, beauty launched in SA

A new programmatic advertising platform, targeting the fashion, beauty and fragrance industries, has been launched by digital agency, Amorphous. FashionBeauty.Network (FB.N) now Dot Network integrates data sets of the client (advertiser) with those supplied by third parties (media platforms) to range over multiple digital-media properties.

The platform, which targets South African consumers interested in style, fashion, health and shopping, already reaches 2m unique browsers and 6m impressions, according to Amorphous CEO, Grant Shippey.

Inventory from some 5000 media properties is available on the network, including Cosmopolitan,, Marie Claire, StyleCraze, Facebook and StyleBistro. The placement of ads is managed through a demand-side platform and real-time bidding.

How it works

Michelle has a loyalty/credit card with a large fashion retailer. She buys a watch in December, school clothes for a male teenager in January and a fashion item in June. The retailer has good reason to believe that, next year, Michelle is likely to buy new school clothes based upon past behaviour.

Data sets created by various media properties fit Michelle into a certain consumer segment. By marrying (anonymously) what the retailer knows about Michelle with what those third-party data sets know about her, advertisers may bid to reach her across any of the fashion platforms she frequents, with a two-for-one offer on white shirts for boys, for example.

Advertisers get to skip having to manage multiple relationships with various media platforms by working through the network. The price point for advertising is still being set, says Shippey, but the aim is to reach a compromise between pricing set by brands and by media.

FB.N targets brands directly and also works through their media-planning agencies. It is currently testing the service, with both Edcon and Dior as clients. The pilot phase should be completed at the end of September 2016.

A new direct-marketing channel

According to Shippey, while many early adopters have experience in programmatic campaigns, more education of its benefits is still required in the local marketplace. Essentially, brands are building a new direct-marketing channel and, through FB.N, delivering a personalised message in a public forum.

Brands that work with FB.N will be able to enforce to their own privacy rules, says Shippey, and data is encrypted and anonymised before integration with third-party data sets.

Amorphous plans to launch similar networks across numerous under-serviced verticals, including food and beverage. It will target those with lots of interest from readers but limited digital advertising spend. Ultimately, Shippey wants his networks to trace the links between online and offline consumer behaviour by effectively tracking conversions between online research and real-world purchase.