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Digital Marketing Case Study:

Universal IDs for Advertisers


Royal Canin, a prominent pet food brand, encountered a significant challenge with the loss of 3rd party cookies, as announced by Google in 2021. This predicament occurred shortly after the implementation of the iOS 14.5 update on Apple devices. These changes were prompted by evolving regulations surrounding user and data privacy, such as GDPR in the EU, CPPA in California, and PIPEDA in Canada. Traditionally, cookies have served as small code that are sent to our browsers when we visit websites, compiling our browsing history and creating online profiles based on our internet activities. Given that approximately 65% of Canadians rely on Google Chrome as their primary browser, the impact on our ability to accurately target pet owners and measure campaign performance would be substantial. It is also important to highlight that working with data partners tends to inflate media costs, thereby affecting our overall efficiency.


We embarked on the task of creating a new data set for Royal Canin using alternative IDs, which would enable us to accurately identify and segment pet owners for personalized messaging. Once accomplished, our next challenge would involve integrating our audience into the existing MarTech ecosystem seamlessly.

To address this, we would conduct an assessment of various technology vendors to identify suitable partners. Our focus was on selecting universal identifiers that could achieve the highest possible match rate with our media activation platforms. In the realm of online identity, we already had established partnerships with key players such as Liveramp (owner of ID5) and TT (owner of ID2.0). Additionally, we explored the utilization of Mobile Ad IDs (MAIDs) from Google. MAIDs are identifiers generated deterministically, primarily based on Gmail addresses. Through our forthcoming partnership, we aimed to build our own first-party data set, optimize the cost per targeted user, and create dynamic content to enhance our messaging strategies.


Tresensa (now part of Vungle) was selected to be our mobile media partner for this project to collect the Mobile Ad IDs. They created an interactive ad featuring a pet-themed game, where users impersonated a dog/cat and answered 2 questions maximum to avoid the loss of interest. By confirming consent, completing levels and answering questions, users provided Mobile Ad IDs, and upon game completion, they were prompted to share their email addresses (PII) to unlock special offers. 

Considering the media consumption habits of our target audience, we carefully selected Meta, DV360, and Beeswax DSP as our primary platforms to assess the match rate. Notably, Beeswax demonstrated its ability to efficiently process the collected IDs and utilize them for further audience segmentations, without incurring any additional costs for Tresensa.


Our existing approach to audience targeting encompassed a combination of interest, location, and purchase receipt data. To ensure a well-balanced audience relevancy and CPM, we implemented similar settings for our test. These audience segments were then integrated into Tresensa platforms for media activation.

Initially, our goal was to capture 200,000 Mobile Ad IDs (MAIDs). However, during the first week of activity, we encountered challenges due to low CPM. After refining the campaign settings, we successfully achieved our target within a month.

Subsequently, we uploaded the audience lists to various media platforms to measure the match rate: Beeswax DSP exhibited 80% match rate, while Meta yielded a match rate of 90%. Leveraging these platforms, we launched our first campaign, enabling further segmentation based on factors such as the number of pets, pet's age, digestion concerns, and more. The resulting audience segments were stored in the DMP and, when possible, also incorporated into the CRM for future matching.

Considering that DV360 is a Google-owned DSP with preferential CPM rates, we opted to push our final audience lists to this platform. This allowed us to activate the lists on YouTube, leveraging its extensive reach for maximum impact.


The utilization of Mobile Ad IDs enabled us and Royal Canin to deliver highly personalized messaging. The audience composition consisted of 55% dog owners and 45% cat owners. Within the dog owner segment, it is worth noting that more than 20% were owners of two or more dogs, which played a crucial role in shaping our messaging strategy.

The engagement rate with the interactive ad surpassed expectations, reaching over 5%, which is more than 20 times the industry average. Notably, 35% of the engaged users successfully completed all three levels of the game, providing us with significant user segmentation data and insights.

The achievement of a low CPM was a key factor in ensuring the cost-efficiency of this project for Royal Canin. Despite requiring a substantial upfront investment, we projected a positive ROI within one year of media activity, assuming a similar level of media investment.


Through the strategic implementation of Universal IDs and our partnerships with mobile media providers, Royal Canin effectively navigated the impact of losing 3rd party cookies, which was initially announced for early 2023 but later extended to early 2024. The utilization of an interactive game to collect Mobile Ad IDs proved to be a successful approach, allowing us to gather valuable data and enhance audience profiles. Unlike PII, the use of Mobile Ad IDs eliminated the need for hashing, streamlining our processes and making them more efficient.

Additionally, leveraging Mobile Ad IDs enabled us to efficiently target users for app downloads, which became particularly relevant as Royal Canin was in the process of developing a new app called NoseID, designed to measure dog health using the phone camera. Furthermore, our audience segmentation efforts will play a crucial role in powering the mobile app download campaign, facilitating effective matching between Mobile Ad IDs and email addresses, as well as other PII.


The advertising industry has experienced significant disruption due to updated deadlines set by tech giants like Google and Apple. This has created a widespread impact on all businesses, compelling advertisers to exhibit creativity and innovation to remain competitive in the market.

To overcome these challenges, publishers have stepped up by providing new targeting capabilities, effectively addressing issues such as inflated CPMs and inaccuracies associated with third-party vendors.

Despite the hurdles faced, Royal Canin successfully adapted to the changing landscape and continued to deliver targeted campaigns to their intended audience. Their ability to navigate these challenges demonstrates their resilience and commitment to staying ahead in a competitive market.

Digital Landscape
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