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Dive Brief:

  • Toyota experienced a 21% lift in performance in a pilot of a blockchain-optimized programmatic campaign created in partnership with agency Saatchi & Saatchi and blockchain advertising analytics firm Lucidity, according to a news release. The effort is reportedly the auto industry’s first blockchain-powered campaign. 
  • Performance was calculated by comparing non-optimized placements with the optimized placements by Lucidity with a goal of driving conversions to quality site visits. Auto industry digital advertising in the U.S. is estimated at nearly $15 billion for 2018, but the Toyota campaign is the industry’s first powered by blockchain, according to Lucidity.
  • For Toyota, Lucidity blacklisted sites and apps with high levels of impression and click discrepancy to shift the brand’s budget to higher performing sites and eliminate waste. 

Dive Insight:

Toyota’s blockchain-powered programmatic campaign underscores how marketers can use the technology to boost transparency around their digital ad buys and get results. Lucidity, provides deterministic data at the log level to identify data discrepancies from suspicious activity like domain spoofing, bot traffic and bid caching. For brands, the ability to segment high performing sites allows for more control over where campaigns run at every point in the digital ad supply chain and eliminates waste, which can drive ROI. 

Marketers continue to invest in programmatic ad buys, with many attracted by the automation it provides. At the same time, many have expressed concern over a lack of transparency and control over where ads appear. By 2019, nearly two-thirds of digital display ads are predicted to be programmatic, reaching an estimated $84.9 billion, according to projections by Publicis Groupe ZenithProgrammatic direct accounts for the largest share of programmatic ad spending, at 58%, per a recent eMarketer forecast. 

Blockchain is seen as a solution to the problems surrounding programmatic ad buys. Many marketers are already using the technology to improve supply chains behind the scenes and to offer secure transactions. Brands, including Walmart, Burger King, De Beers and others, have also incorporated blockchain to power loyalty programs and accept cryptocurrencies. 

Last year, the Interactive Advertising Tech Lab launched a Blockchain Working Group to research different applications for the technology and set standards and best practices for the digital ad industry. Lucidity is a member of the group, which recently announced its first blockchain pilot program, according to the news release. 

Embracing blockchain expands on Toyota’s efforts to create innovative marketing tactics to attract millennials and Gen Zers, who have showed little interest in car ownership. Toyota drove a 23% lift in purchase consideration among millennials in the market for a new vehicle by partnering with Oath to live stream music festivals and create special video, native and display ads during summer 2017. The auto brand also ran an interactive foldout ad for its 2018 Camry in the March 2018 issue of InStyle magazine, which took readers inside the car through sight, sound, smell and touch. 

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