Digital Advertising Bounty Hunters


Early in season one of The Mandalorian, the titular character is given a fragment of data. With only a few digits, an exact age for a creature all the way across the galaxy is revealed. Internet ad companies are the bounty-hunting guild of the 21st century, processing trillions of lines of data to segment your particular data into exact segments with the sole purpose of finding you. They sell those audiences to advertisers across the globe. This is the way.

Well, maybe that was the way. Concerns began building up in Europe about every citizen’s right to privacy. In the middle of 2018, the EU enacted a data protection law called General Data Protection Regulation, more commonly known as GDPR. Then California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act and other smaller states followed suit. With 2021’s release of iOS 14.5, privacy is again at the forefront of news cycles in an effort to keep that data-gathering internet bounty hunting guild from finding you, unmasking their ways for everyone to see.

I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, aren’t you a part of that problem? Aren’t you utilizing my data to serve me ads?” You have caught me with my hand in the literal cookie jar.

My clients demand performance. We at Oodle follow best practices to provide the highest performance we can, and unlike The Mandalorian Din Djarin, we aren’t opposed to using droids, robots and algorithms to bring those results to our clients. We personally have no access to any individual’s data. We just make the most educated media buys to target as specific an audience as possible and bring in the best results we can for our customer.

The way forward, we’ll bring in your clients warm, or we’ll bring them in cold

The good news for advertisers: this wealth of data is only being taxed, it is not being taken completely away. Instead of a cornucopia of sources, we have to rely on our ability to partner with other first party data sources to gather the data we need and ensure we’re providing the right buys at the right time to the right people for the right clients.

Advertisers are going to find ways around cookies. They might not be as exact. They might not be able to track every touch cross-device through a customer’s entire journey, but they will find their target. The remnants of the Empire known as Google are already developing alternatives like FLoC. They might not be a Dark Saber able to slice and dice exact customer segments, but it will put large groups of similar users into targeted cohorts. 

So while the status quo might be changing, we really need to just follow the Mandalorian’s example and keep going, and just take the next job.