Unilever dials into global-first audience-targeting solution

With cookies crumbling away, Unilever Thailand needed a future-proof, audience-targeting solution to grow awareness for its Sunlight brand, a range of home-care detergents. Partnering with us, they launched a global-first initiative with Unified ID 2.0 on The Trade Desk, targeting encrypted phone numbers – making a greater brand impact while increasing cost-efficiency. Learn more about their case study here.

“Unilever’s partnership with The Trade Desk has been transformative, enabling us to pioneer a new audience-targeting era in Thailand and Southeast Asia. The success of our campaigns using the cutting-edge Unified ID 2.0 solution showcases our adaptability in the post-cookie landscape. It also reaffirms our commitment to innovative marketing strategies that drive brand engagement and privacy-conscious consumer connections.”

Nidarat Urailertprasert

Digital Marketing, Media, dCommerce and Data Lead, Unilever Homecare Southeast Asia


For over two decades, third-party cookies have been the primary method for driving relevance in online advertising, determining how the internet operates and pays for itself. But with Google phasing out third-party cookies on its Chrome browser, cookies are quickly being rendered obsolete.

In preparation for this, Unilever Thailand was looking to future-proof its audience-targeting strategy for its brands. They also wanted to raise awareness of their Sunlight-branded dishwashing detergent among home-care consumers in Thailand.

The company needed to adopt a scalable and effective solution, especially for using phone numbers, which account for a large portion of its CRM data. Unilever engaged us and its media agency, Mindshare Thailand, to help design and execute a global-first campaign of UID2 audience-targeting with phone numbers and email addresses.


UID2 is an identity solution that can allow advertisers to create unique, pseudonymous identifiers built from hashed and salted email addresses or phone numbers, as well as to achieve greater audience-targeting precision in a privacy-conscious manner. For Unilever, UID2 extended its reach of high-intent audiences efficiently across various devices and channels, especially with some of its preferred over-the-top publishers who have integrated with UID2 and have a significant amount of phone number data.

The UID2 audience-targeting campaign for Unilever’s Sunlight brand embraced the challenges of the impending post-cookie era, blending technological innovation with strategic marketing insights. For the first time globally, phone numbers were integrated into a UID2 audience-targeting campaign, and a brand lift study (BLS) was used to measure its performance.


To test UID2’s effectiveness in helping to maximize cost savings and reach, the campaign team implemented two new audience-targeting strategies with UID2. One involved targeting Unilever’s CRM data, and the other utilized lookalike audience modelling to target audiences who were similar to Unilever’s customers. These strategies were then measured and compared against Unilever’s traditional audience-targeting methods, including second-party data from publishers, cookies, and device IDs.

Metrics like click-through rate (CTR), cost per completed view (CPCV), video completion rate (VCR), and brand impact through InMobi Pulse BLS were measured.

The results showed greater cost-efficiency and increased consumer engagement, where UID2 (CRM) targeting outperformed other targeting strategies in key performance metrics and brand impact. The campaign achieved:

Another significant discovery for Unilever with large phone number datasets was the effectiveness of targeting audience segments using phone numbers. The global-first targeting on phone numbers outperformed email addresses with 13% higher viewability, and 2% higher VCR. Furthermore, the UID2 lookalike modelling strategy achieved the campaign’s VCR goal of 93%.

As the first company to execute UID2 campaigns within the Thai market and successfully pioneer them for Unilever in Southeast Asia, Unilever has decided to implement UID2 audience targeting as an always-on strategy for future campaigns on our platform in Thailand. The impressive results have also compelled Unilever to use UID2 audience targeting in other Southeast Asian markets in 2024.

With Unilever’s forward-thinking approach and vast amount of high-quality CRM data, the company is well positioned for success in the post-cookie era.

Please contact The Trade Desk if you are interested in learning how to use UID2 in your next campaign to stay ahead of cookie deprecation.