Cookiepocalypse Or Digital Renaissance For Media & Advertising?

Cookiepocalypse Or Digital Renaissance For Media & Advertising?

Nicholas Hinchley is the group digital director at MediaCom Marketplace. In this guest post, he says rather than see this as the “cookiepocalypse”, it’s really more of a digital renaissance, spawning innovation and progress in all corners of media and advertising. Here’s why…

Ever since Google announced that they were planning to kill off third-party cookies from its Chrome browser, we have heard the industry talk about the ‘cookiepocalyspe’ and the demise of digital advertising, receding back into the ‘Dark Ages’. However, are we in fact on course for a digital renaissance and new age of advertising instead?

I for one think we will see the latter and just like the renaissance period, we will usher in a new period of innovation, creativity, and collaboration.

We have already seen this with Google’s recent announcement that they are pushing back its plans to mid 2023. Citing that this will allow sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions, continued engagement with regulators, and for publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services. This reprieve is good for all in the industry, allowing further time to develop new identity solutions. The trick now is not to stall on the progress that has been made to date


Much like the printing press did with the renaissance, the death of the cookie has started a period of innovation within the digital space. With tech vendors, agencies and advertisers all looking for solutions for the new age of digital media. We will see that the focus of innovation will be on new privacy first identity solutions such as UID 2.0 or Yahoo/Verizon’s Connect ID or cohort-based alternatives such as Google’s FLoC.

We can also expect innovation across Connected TV and Programmatic OOH, as these channels look to capitalise on the death of cookies, by offering addressable solutions to advertisers at scale without the reliance on cookies. They are now seeing the playing field level with the digital channels that have commanded so much of advertiser’s budgets.

Advertisers and publishers will need to innovate in how they capture and manage customer data and demonstrate a clear value exchange. Due to the need to build first party data to develop audience insights after the deprecation of cookies. This value exchange will be crucial to entice users to part with their data and advertisers and publishers will spend more time spent managing and segmenting this data. We have already witnessed a huge rise in users searching for “What a customer data platform” is.

Innovation or rather adaptation in measurement will also be high on the agenda. After years of relying on cookies for targeting and measurement, we should embrace this. Unfortunately, digital advertising has been held to scrutiny over the multitude of measurements and tracking over years past. Thousands of dollars and hours have been pumped into working out digital attribution and which channel should claim what conversion, rather than thinking about the bigger picture and how all marketing is and should be working together.


Technological and digital innovation will open new avenues for creativity within advertising, just as the renaissance brought in a new age of art, literature, and music.

Through addressable media, advertisers will be able to target audiences at scale with relevant creative. The increase of automation and AI will allow creative production to scale up to meet these new opportunities.

As advertisers lose much of the third-party data that is used for behavioural targeting, they will need to find ways to connect with their users in different ways and this will inevitably lead to innovative and engaging creative executions.


Collaboration is becoming increasingly important for the future, there isn’t just going to be one solution for the death of the cookie, there will be many. Ad Tech, industry bodies and agency holding groups are all tirelessly working on their own identity solutions, but we will see that collaboration between the industry is needed as seen with UID 2.0 and Finecast.

Trade Desk have recently donated their UID 2.0 infrastructure to, this will enable a very wide range of industry participants globally to collaboratively improve the core code for the benefits of everyone. Interoperability has become the buzz word of 2021, tech vendors now want solutions that work with other solutions and systems, rather than in silos.

In the TV transformation space, GroupM’s Finecast has collaborated with Australian broadcasters to create the Finecast ID. Innovations such as these show the importance of close publisher relationships and investing in privacy-first solutions for the future that addresses consumer and publisher consent. Without the reliance on third party data, we will see an increase in collaboration between advertisers and publishers. There will not be one ring (ID solution) to rule them all, the time is now to spread risk and explore all opportunities as the landscape is rapidly evolving.,

I am excited for the change, this new era of digital advertising ahead, and all the exciting possibilities it will bring! Adverting existed before the internet and cookies so I can’t see any reason it can’t thrive without them.

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mediacom Nicholas Hinchley

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