Havas Media relaunches Converged as solution to life after cookies

Havas Media relaunches Converged as solution to life after cookies

Havas Media Network UK has rebuilt its Converged platform as an AI-powered solution that aims to provide transparent, cross-platform media planning for a post-cookie media world.

Having launched Converged as an identity-based planning and buying platform in 2021, Havas Media’s UK team has now claimed it is the first media agency to give advertisers a unified view from planning through to dynamic activation and audience reporting at scale. 

During the last two years of testing, Havas Media said the vast majority (93%) of test campaigns have delivered a minimum uplift of 10% improvement.

Meanwhile, campaign performance has improved by an average of 45% when measured against key performance indicators, such as view-through rate, cost per thousand, cost per click and cost per view.  

Converged is supposed to function without the need for new technology providers, first-party data permissions or ID resolution providers — something that would exceed the minimum requirements of the regulations in personal data privacy. 

The tool links over 35,000 audience insights from the geographic, demographic, attitudinal, behavioural, purchasing and consumption data of over half a million individuals. The insights it gathers is then fed back into digital media activation decisioning in real time.  

Lisa Tickle, director of digital and marketing at Homebase, which has been involved in testing, said: “The depreciation of the cookie has of course accelerated the move to first-party data and this has made it increasingly difficult to match planning with the audiences we want to reach.

“Converged eliminates this challenge and has already yielded some very impressive results for us across a number of our product categories and channels. We are looking forward to embedding Converged in 2024 as part of our digital plan and strategy.” 

Analysis: Agencies get serious about post-cookie advertising online

The Converged solution is Havas Media’s answer to one of online advertising’s key challenges in recent years: how to best reach individuals or groups of audiences in a world where brands can no longer track them using web-browser cookies.

Cookie deprecation, according to Havas Media, worsens a disconnect for advertisers between planning and buying audiences, as well as “signal loss” — the diminishing strength of pixel fires on important signals (such as when people buy a product after seeing a relevant ad) — and the emergence of new channels, such as new ad inventory on connected TV.

While popular browsers such as Safari (Apple) and Firefox (Mozilla) have turned off advertising cookies by default since 2020, it was only last week that Google did the same for Chrome (1% of users).

Google 1% cookie deprecation: what will change?

While the world’s biggest media buying group, WPP’s GroupM, has chosen to work with Google directly in coming up with a post-cookie solution, Havas Media has warned that “cookies are rubbish anyway”.

Writing in The Media Leader last month, Havas Media Network UK’s chief data and product officer, Laura Kell, called on advertisers to “already be thinking about the next solution — one that genuinely respects consumer demands for privacy online”.

Instead, the right solution, in her view, is to “[build] a solid understanding of customers with their consent and using technology such as data clean rooms to connect this audience understanding to our media activation.”

‘People are more than IDs’

Speaking to The Media Leader today, Kell said: “We believe people are more than IDs. We can’t understand people properly by tracking what they do, what they buy and why, and the demise of the cookie means this is ending anyway.

“A strength for a particular type of client can be a weakness for another vertical, country or region. With Converged, we are eliminating that one-size-fits-all approach.

“Advertisers are regaining control of the emerging digital ecosystem by improving audience targeting, insight and control — and, better still, we are underwriting performance without compromise.”   

Taking the biscuit – why cookie replacements won’t last


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