The Washington Post is trying to go beyond cookie-based ad targeting and match ads to people without being ‘creepy.’

Business Insider – March 7 , 2019

By Lucia Moses

[C-K’s SVP of Media and Analytics Chris Wexler was interviewed and quoted in this story. Excerpt below.]

Cookies are still the dominant way of targeting online ads but they’re going away because of privacy initiatives like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation that limit the collection of people’s data, the growing use of mobile devices that don’t support cookies, and consumer aversion to poorly targeted ads.

Advertisers are replacing cookie-based tracking that is tied to a browser and single device with a people-based approach that targets individuals across browsers, devices, and apps. In fact, more than 60% of marketers think they won’t have to rely on cookies for most of their digital marketing in the next two years, according to data from advertising cloud Viant Technology.

The Washington Post is trying to get ahead of the shift with a new ad product it recently started pitching called FeedBuilder. The product uses automation to spit out dozens of versions of an ad and then contextually matches the ads to people based on the subject of the article they’re reading on the Post’s site.

The Post wants to personalize ads without being ‘creepy’

The Post is right in line with current trends, as dynamic creative is one of biggest growth areas among advertisers, said Chris Wexler, SVP and executive director of media and analytics at the agency Cramer-Krasselt. Advertisers recognize the need for ads that are privacy-safe and people respond better to ads that are more relevant to them.

“I think that’s the reason people hate banners — they’re so poorly targeted,” he said.

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