Privacy-First & Cookieless Advertising is NOW
Mins Read
February 4, 2022

Why Privacy-First & Cookieless Advertising is Now; Not When Google (Or Anyone) Says it Is

By Zack Rosenberg

Privacy-First has been Against Cookies for a While Now

Cookies have been around since 1994, so it makes a tiny bit of sense that advertisers and data connoisseurs are kicking and screaming like toddlers at the fact that third-party cookies are going away. They're a security blanket. But the blanket has been tattered and torn for a while, and it's going to be taken away eventually.

GDPR was passed in 2018, and just recently the EU ordered that all personal data collected through the workaround (permission pop-ups) be deleted and that the pop-ups be removed. Apple also implemented new privacy features which many are blaming for Meta's (Facebook's) abysmal earnings quarter.

Google only just jumped on the train in 2020, but has pushed the date three times now. I think that we have to stop waiting on big data to drop the shoe. The future is now, and as ad tech curators and advertisers, we have to innovate today.

Europe is Ahead of the privacy Game

Throughout my career, I've often felt that businesses in Europe were 5 years behind in terms of the adoption of new technologies/business practices that were widely used here in the US. It has been interesting now to watch as they have become the canary in the coal mine for what a privacy-centric future could look like here.

The fact is, we have to do better. We owe it to our audiences and customers to protect their data.

And so I ask you: what are you doing today to move your business into a privacy-first tomorrow? Are you dragging your feet?

Why Brands Might be Hesitating

Advertisers are worried about what this means for their ability to target people. They're afraid that they'll lose the ability to track users across devices and browsers, which is a valid concern.

DTC brands that grew up having access to all of these tracking pixels, FB, Google's, etc., and have never had to think about a world without them are the ones who will be hit the hardest. While their practices seem cutting edge to many old-head Fortune 500 marketers, who have so many hoops to jump through to be able to innovate at the appropriate pace. These new brands have little experience with radio, magazine, TV, OOH, and in-the-moment marketing or certainly not to the same degree as their predecessors.

Coming away from something that has been so familiar is scary, but those advertisers need to take a step back and see the monster of advertising for what it is.

3 Truths Advertisers Need to Face

  1. Cookie-based advertising is not accurate. If you use 2 targeting parameters in your DSP (for example gender and age), you will only see 28% accuracy.
  2. Marketers don't even trust cookie-based targeting. Marketers feel that only 1 in 100 ads are targeted appropriately.
  3. Consumers don't like your ads, or your tracking. Close to half of consumers don't even like video ads. People don't like being tracked and followed.

What's the Next Move?


There will only be more rules put in place, and innovation is key. Diversify your advertising methods now to prepare for the future. It only takes one business change: like Apple's privacy opt-out or GDPR's new pop-up rules to disintegrate your advertising program.

Moments-based marketing is the next great transactional media type.  It's where the consumer is in the moment and you're providing them with an immediate solution to their problem or a related product/brand/service. This is how many billboard strategies or in-event strategies work.

Is this good for CatapultX? You bet. We started preparing for this in 2019. Our ad formats are prepped for the next generation of web privacy and advertising practices. Our On-Stream ad formats utilize AI to analyze videos, find the best moments for an advertiser's brand and integrate them into the content.

But outside of On-Stream, you should think about contextual advertising strategies that make sense for your business.

It's also important that as marketers, we focus on creating content that people want to consume, rather than interrupting their day with something they don't. We have to be more thoughtful about how we reach our audiences.

Don't operate in a reactive space for cookies and privacy practices. Bring on the new guard. Bring on the innovation. The future has already arrived.

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