The Trade Desk boosts reach with omnichannel ads

January 14, 20234 minute read

The Trade Desk is a demand-side platform that helps marketers reach their audiences across channels using data. Their 95 percent client retention rate indicates the unmatched power of their demand-side platform and service model. But many marketers across the industry still don’t know what The Trade Desk does and why they’re different. To tackle this visibility issue, The Trade Desk’s in-house marketing team created the “What Matters” campaign, with messaging centered on simplifying what they do and — most importantly — why it matters.

Woman commuter walking past a digital ad for The Trade Desk in a New York subway station

The Trade Desk’s “What Matters” campaign showcased the benefits of advertising on their platform.

The Trade Desk needed to reach a wide audience: decision-makers at both brands and agencies, platform users, prospective employees, as well as the broader software and technology industry. The marketing team also hoped the campaign would help them hit their 2022 goals — increasing brand lift by 5 percent and hitting a 1,000-person hiring target. To measure progress toward these goals, The Trade Desk’s team used indicators like cross-channel reach, organic web traffic, branded organic search, and video completion rate (VCR).


The Trade Desk knows that programmatic is the future of media buying. So when their marketing team needs to execute a campaign, they take a programmatic-first approach.

The in-house team started by focusing their budget on channels where they could efficiently target reach and manage frequency. Given their brand awareness goal, they placed a heavy focus on video: programmatic Connected TV (CTV), programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH), online video, and YouTube. But they also leveraged channels like programmatic display, LinkedIn static ads, and carousel ads.

Traditional television and out-of-home (OOH) are expensive, but these channels are known to drive awareness. Yet given their tight budget, The Trade Desk’s marketing team knew that accessing these traditional channels would be cost-prohibitive. That’s why they turned to CTV and DOOH on The Trade Desk’s platform — so they could make premium placements and cost-effectively reach their audiences all in one place.


The Trade Desk’s marketing team developed a robust DOOH plan to reach brands, media agencies, and commuters in four key cities: New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Chicago. Using their own platform, the team was able to reach people in a first-to-market opportunity with JCDecaux digital panels on bus shelters and newsstands. They also activated across elevators, lobby screens, and transit media. From golf carts to high-impact DOOH with a digital spectacular, these channels were all accessible through one platform, making execution easier than ever.

Digital ad for The Trade Desk outside of a building in New York City
Digital ad for The Trade Desk outside of The Hilton in New York City

This DOOH strategy effectively targeted brands, media agencies, and commuters, reaching over 40 million DOOH audience impressions. The Trade Desk’s team wanted to ensure that no relevant audience was left untapped, so they leveraged the new audience reach percentage (ARP) feature, which resulted in a 6.5 percent increase in audiences. The Trade Desk then retargeted relevant DOOH audiences via CTV, display, and video, reaching an additional 16 million DOOH audience impressions, ultimately creating a 42 percent lift in ad recall. These executions generated a lot of social media buzz and qualitative feedback that further distributed The Trade Desk’s messaging organically.

With CTV, the team wanted to compare the performance of a popular UGC platform to the more premium content available on The Trade Desk through partners like Hulu, Fubu, and Peacock. While the cost per mille (CPM) on The Trade Desk platform was 49 percent higher, the cost per completed view (CPCV) was 47 percent lower. With these results, The Trade Desk’s marketing team was able to determine mid-campaign performance to funnel more dollars into Connected TV on their own technology.

Interested in learning more about DOOH on The Trade Desk? Reach out to your account manager or visit The Trade Desk website to learn more.