Amazon Unveils New Cookieless Ad-Targeting Solution at Cannes Lions

At the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, one of the biggest events globally in the realm of the creative economy, Amazon Ads has stepped into the spotlight to introduce Ad Relevance – a continuously learning solution that will ensure bespoke ad targeting in a world without third-party cookies. This announcement arrives a year and two months after the company began a closed beta test of the same and is a key development in the company’s continuous experimentation in how it can harness big data and machine learning.

Ad Relevance is a very intriguing product that aims to assist advertisers reach internet users without having to depend upon the third-party cookie that will soon be outdated, or the immense array of ID solutions currently available. Rather, it relies on the capability of AI (Artificial Intelligence), and machine learning models, combined with Amazon’s vast reservoir of data about consumers, to provide relevant ad experiences that anticipate users’ behaviors.

“We have essentially, over the past three years, rebuilt our system based on machine learning models,” said Brian Tomasette, director of Amazon DSP products. “Our ad targeting, and measurement system is no longer reliant on identifiers such as third-party cookies.”

While Ad Relevance is a real-time system, at its core is Amazon’s incredible expertise in browsing, shopping, and viewing experiences across its vast array of sites and services. Through these signals, the platform uses machine learning algorithms to estimate a given user’s behavior and then provide ad prospects to the media buyers.

Tomasette emphasized that while Amazon’s advertising platform currently utilizes ad identifiers like third-party cookies, the company recognizes the limitations of relying solely on identifiers. “We don’t think that’s a long-term solution,” he stated. “So, we’re not betting on one identifier solution; instead, we’re leveraging our deep understanding of the shopping experience and how we’ve built machine learning and AI models, and that’s expressed in specific options in our DSP.”

Amazon’s approach mirrors what other digital giants are doing, for instance, GOOGLE with Performance MAX which uses artificial intelligence to determine the best campaign strategies and to create target audiences.

Nathan Woodman, founder of media consultancy Proof in Data, praised Amazon’s unique differentiator: the vast trove of purchase signal behavior at its disposal. “The key things are about addressability and relevancy,” he said. “The industry often confuses the two; addressability is about finding the right audience, whereas relevancy is about understanding the context that person might be in and handing them the right creative.”

Woodman further explained, “You don’t even need to know who the person is in order to hand them the right creative. You can do this using the machine learning algorithm to piece together a multidimensional cohort.”

The reveal of Ad Relevance will not be the only Amazon Ads activity at Cannes Lions, with Active Conversion and Sales Builder in the same period. The company has also partnered with media agency holding groups, The Omnicom Media Group and Group M, WPP to further integration and to use first-party data and all other tools of Amazon advertisements.

Thus, with the advertising industry now facing this threat of third-party cookies’ destruction and the rising need for privacy-oriented targeting View, Amazon Ads’ Ad Relevance places the company at the forefront of the cookieless era. With the help of Machine learning algorithm and the massive amounts of customer data it possesses, Amazon Ads to always provide relevant and effective advertisement experience keeping in mind consumers’ privacy.

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