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The cookie is crumbling – your creative better take the biscuit

by Emily Knox | 02.06.2021

After a quarter of a century of digital marketing which has relied on cookies and third party data, advertisers are now faced with the dawn of a new age – a cookie-less world. Many browsers have already disabled third-party cookies and Chrome, with its 63% market share, is turning them off at the end of 2021. Apple has also famously made it much easier for users to disable tracking of their app data with iOS14.5 – much to Facebook’s annoyance.

What this means in practice is that marketers’ ability to layer complex sets of data – for example your web and mobile browsing habits, location tracking, purchase history, and interest intelligence – in order to target you with incredibly targeted messages is diminishing. 

The reasons for this shift are three-fold: 

  1. Individuals care more about privacy and their data than ever before – and major platforms are taking notice
  2. Data is valuable – and the big players like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon etc don’t want to share 
  3. New laws and regulations around data capture and processing like GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California 

So what does it mean for marketers? We have a thorough explanation of what needs to happen in the media buying space on our Preparing For A Cookieless World page. But as Head of Social & Content I am interested in the opportunity for creativity – and I think it’s vast.

The demise of the third-party cookie means we can’t get away with lazy creative and pinpoint targeting. Brand and messaging are of paramount importance in this new digital landscape. 

Media platforms will now actively reward creative that get high engagements with low costs per click – because it means more traffic, more clicks, and better click through rates for them. Which means they make more money. 

Specifically it means four things:

  1. Broad appeal creative  

Broader targeting means creative needs a broader appeal. Decreased targeting also means a greater focus on top of funnel – brand and awareness is key.

  1. Video

Moving image will drive more efficiency and lower costs because it is a highly engagement format versus static creative. YouTube and connected TV will rise in prominence – make sure you have the right assets.

  1. Volume

Broader audiences means more multivariate testing – you will need multiple creative sets to test and learn. We also recommend you look more closely at cross-channel creative repurposing – if it works on Facebook it may work well on display.

  1. Formats

Creative needs to engage – interactive display formats will come into their own – think sliders, quizzes and personalised elements.

Wondering how your creative will fare in a cookie-less world? Get in touch: