Automation and Identity Define The Future of Addressability

Two years ago, Disney had a bold ambition – lay the foundation for a fully automated and addressable future. This commitment called for a complete overhaul of Disney’s advertising platform – one that would power the capability for advertisers to buy “once” and deliver “anywhere” across Disney’s vast portfolio of news, sports and entertainment brands.

Since embarking on this journey, Disney invested in the innovation required to reimagine its ad server, unifying inventory across all properties, while putting programmatic automation front and center – and introducing parity across all marketplaces.

For Disney, this was not an efficiency play. “It was a performance game-changer putting choice and control in the hands of buyers,” according to Jamie Power, SVP, Addressable Sales.

“Disney is bullish on unlocking greater automation and interoperability across the ecosystem,” she added. “By creating opportunities for advertisers of all sizes and scopes to reach audiences at scale in the most premium TV environments, the end game is enabling seamless access to all deal types, across all screens alongside world-class content.”

Access Through Automation

With the rise of connected TV and streaming, advertisers are doubling down on an audience-based approach as the industry grapples with the deprecation of the digital cookie.

In just six months since Disney and The Trade Desk formed a first-of-its kind integration to Disney’s Audience Graph through the open-source identity framework Unified ID 2.0, Unilever, in collaboration with Mindshare, is the first brand to strategically test this capability with Disney and The Trade Desk.

“We are excited to be on the front lines of this future-fit partnership between Disney and The Trade Desk, so we can continue learning about holistic reach and frequency in a privacy-safe environment,” said Aaron Sobol, Head of Media Investment and Partnerships for Unilever.

By creating an audience match reliant on high-fidelity first-party data versus more traditional means of matching based on cookies or pixels, advertisers not only know if reached a key audience, but how precisely, while simultaneously creating the scale advertisers need to increase incremental reach more across linear, CTV and digital.

Over the years, Disney has doubled down on audience solutions based on first-party data insights, rooted in integrity with privacy by design and built to scale.

In many cases, advertisers leveraging first-party audience segments through an offering like Disney Select, see 3X the performance of standard segments.

“Disney’s forward approach to identity is already paying dividends since becoming interoperable with Unified ID 2.0,” said Will Doherty, Vice President, Inventory Partnerships, The Trade Desk. “Together with innovative marketers like Unilever, we are able to realize what’s possible in the world of data-driven advertising, which enhances the viewing experience across the open internet, including channels like connected TV.”

The Addressable Advantage

The evolution of Disney’s programmatic offering began by flattening the waterfall to allow all bid types to compete on a level playing field. This evolution allowed advertisers to bid on high-value audiences across all screens – while maximizing value and allowing buyers to tap into lightning-in-a-bottle moments like live sports.

Tools and technology built in-house, like the Disney Real-Time Ad Exchange (DRAX) and Disney’s Unified Ad Platform created the ability for advertisers to reach the most valuable audiences for their business, with improved frequency tapping into real-time data signals.

And the proof is in the performance – Disney Advertising has seen nearly a 150% rise in biddable, double the growth over last year for the programmatic business.

The next phase of Disney’s Addressable innovation lives at the intersection of identity and interoperability. Disney’s proprietary Audience Graph, built with a privacy-first approach primed for data collaboration, provides speed-to-market without any movement of first-party data.

By creating direct integrations to the Disney Audience Graph, whether through The Trade Desk for buying, VideoAmp, for precise measurement in connected TV, or Magnite, through a global, two-year expansion that increases access to CTV and mobile inventory, unlocking first-party identity at scale through automation is at the heart of Disney’s Addressable advantage.