This year, the cookie crumbles.

January 30, 2024

2024 – the year the ad cookie dies once and for all. It’s been on the cards for a while now, and finally we’re here.

What began as a privacy push-back from smartphone operating systems and browsers, has culminated in Google finally admitting that the era of the ad cookie is done. This year the company phases out third party cookies in Chrome.

The reality is, that for quite a while, people have been opting out of ad cookies, concerned about their privacy. The net result is that the big ad platforms have been pushed into a position where they are having to ‘aggregate’ a good deal of reporting data. There comes a point though where there’s more aggregation than reality going on and that’s pretty much the tipping point we’re at now.

The response of META to this turning of the tide is interesting. They are now strongly encouraging clients to use their ‘Advantage Plus’ audiences, created on-the-fly. What this actually means is that the company will come up with a blurry-edged dynamic crowd which contains many, many people who are outside the boundary of what we in advertising would call ‘the target’. You might actually call this method anti-targeting – a reliable way of driving up clicks and driving down the cost per click. But guess what: because a lot of this audience lives outside the fence, they’ll never buy your product. In other words, bye bye ROI.

What’s the solution?

Welcome back, advertising. Now we’re going to have to apply intelligence, skill and experience to put memorable ads in front of our target audience.

META and Google

Guess what, you can still use META and Google effectively. You just have to be able to use reasoning to create manual targeting options. We can use external demographic knowledge to inform our selections, effectively channeling ad delivery where we actually want it to go.

Native advertising

Buy ads in online media that your audience actively reads. Native ads blend with the topic of the site they appear on. This makes your ads highly relevant to viewers, and more engaging.

Zero and first-party data

These types of data are still collectable, because they are entirely optional (on the part of the user) and not cookie based. This data can form another targeting layer for digital ad campaigns and email marketing.


Did someone say OOH? Used effectively and with intelligence, OOH media is perfect and massively under utilised. In Australia, most of us live in cities. 98% of people see OOH daily.

And the result of all this?

You see? It’s not all over. Not by a long way. By looking at the bigger picture, and applying some knowledge, skill and experience, we can produce better ads, more effective ads, ads that build brands and ads that sell products and services. Most importantly, ads that promise more ROI than ever.

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