Who Killed the Cookie Monster?

By Milan Blazevic, Crimtan Director ANZ

My nephew was handing me my third straight FIFA19 hammering on babysitting duty recently, when he turned to me and asked:

“Uncle Milan, what job do you do?”

“I work in Advertising” I said.

“What’s that?”

“I work with businesses like the one that makes FIFA19 and help them tell people about their new video game.”


“We show online ads about the game to people who may want to play it.”

“How do you know they want to play video games?”

“Well, you know how you go on those websites about things you like – like video games. We track what you read and watch to see if you would like to buy FIFA19.

“WOW…so you know what I am doing on the internet?!” (shocked face)

“Actually…no, not you – you’re too young – but we might tell your mum about a game to buy for your birthday, and we use things called cookies, so we don’t know who you are, but just collect information about what you may like. We don’t know your name, address, or anything like that.”

“But, what happens when there are no more cookies left?”

“That’s a very good question. It’s happening right now, and we are starting to use a thing called Persistent ID which allows us to go beyond cookies and….”

“Uncle Milan…, can we just get back to FIFA19?”

My nephew, like many other online users, doesn’t really understand cookies, and our industry will struggle with justifying to the wider online population that all cookies have value. And we are already seeing significant shifts in what data can be collected and used through regulations such as the GDPR and Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0 update – not to mention the upcoming ePrivacy Regulation.

What’s does that mean for display marketers?

For Safari users, tracking and attribution for longer than 24 hours is almost impossible using third-party cookies. Your DCM reports won’t attribute conversions to partners correctly via post-view, nor will your frequency strategies be achievable. And even for users not using safari, cookies rarely last much longer than 30 days, making it difficult to reach consumers along the whole of the customer journey.

What’s the alternative?

Persistent ID strategies use multiple data points to identify a user without using a third-party cookie. At Crimtan, we have developed ActiveID, which uses probabilistic data to create a user ID that can be used to match them in ad exchanges and across devices.

Having these data points allows marketers to make a better decision about what products to feature and what offers are more relevant to users.

Advertisers can track, target and engage with users across multiple devices through sequential creative messaging and controlled frequency. And ActiveID will also allow multiple trackable data points to assist in the implementation of a more robust attribution model for cross-channel executions.

Helping advertisers go beyond third-party cookies

ActiveID brings further benefits as it includes a fully functional consent management platform (CMP) called consenTag. While advertisers can use ActiveID invisibly to build up a pool of persistent IDs without notifying site visitors, consenTag can be activated at any time, so user consent can quickly and easily be collected and recorded in a GDPR compliant way. And because ConsenTag is geo-location enabled, it will only appear when the user is visiting from within the European Union, where consent is prerequisite to targeting.

By giving consent, users have signaled that they trust your company and are interested in your products or services. This can be the start of a much more profitable, long-term customer relationship as these customers are more willing to want more information, engage with offers and – ultimately – buy more.

Want to find out more about why the end is near for third party cookies, and what will replace them? Contact you nearest Crimtan office.