Denmark Drives Performance

Succeed In a Privacy-First World with Contextual Audience Extension

Audi Car

Privacy-first is quickly becoming the new global standard for marketers around the world. Denmark is one country leading the charge in this shift.

With one of the strictest interpretations of GDPR’s consent collection rules, coupled with other challenges like a high Safari market share, user-level identifiability has dropped as low as 35%.

Marketers are being forced to rethink targeting strategies in order to connect and engage with consumers without relying on personal data. Denmark serves as the perfect location to experiment with innovative targeting technologies to see what’s possible. Advanced AI and natural language processing allow marketers to do more with their first-party data and deliver purposeful messages to relevant audiences in the moments that matter.


of conversions from novel audience + personae exclusion

-81% eCPA

With Contextual Audience Extension

"The two test campaigns we ran with Semasio and PHD Media Denmark have improved our understanding of what it takes to be successful in the privacy-first era. We have gained valuable insights into how we can continue to reach our target audience through future-proof intelligent media buying in the changing media landscape that will soon become a reality for advertisers worldwide."

Niklas Theakston

Digital Manager — Audi Denmark

Case study


With a little more than one-third of Danish consumers targetable on the user level, Audi Denmark was seeing increased competition for users considered to be in the market for a new car.

They faced the same competition for premium automotive and business-related content these users were expected to be consuming online.

Rather than shift their focus to highly demanded content or bid for fewer cookies at higher CPMs, Audi decided to adopt innovative, future-proof targeting strategies to effectively navigate market changes with a privacy-first approach.


Audi Denmark used Semasio to seamlessly extend audiences to contextual targeting at the push of a button, automatically adapting to any changes in user-level identifiability.

They tested two approaches to determine which worked best to outpace the competition.


Working alongside PHD Media Denmark, Audi Denmark ran two contextual targeting test campaigns with Semasio.

Campaign 01

Compare Semasio’s Audience and Contextual Inclusion and Exclusion targeting solutions.

Audi targeted the personae of the most likely buyers while excluding the personae of the least likely buyers based on their typical media consumption patterns and socio-demographic characteristics.

This occurred on both user (audience targeting) and page (contextual targeting) levels. Each strategy was further split into identifiable and non-identifiable devices for mutual exclusion. Equal spending was dedicated to all four personae targeting strategies.

Campaign 02

Use the results of Campaign 01 to see what was possible with Semasio’s extension capabilities.

First, Audi used first-party data to model and target more users with similar semantic profiles to actual converters from Campaign 01 through Audience Extension. Then, they took it one step further with Contextual Audience Extension. In this approach, they combined the accuracy of audiences with the reach of context to predict the sites and pages where the converters are overrepresented.

Targeting strategies were again split into identifiable and non-identifiable devices to compare Audience Extension with Contextual Audience Extension.

To ensure full control and transparency over the test campaigns, Campaign 02 was split into two phases. As a result, Audi was able to put actionable insights to work and optimize the bidding strategy at run time, enabling real-time optimization.



With equal spend on all four persona targeting strategies in Campaign 01, the novel Audience and Contextual Exclusion of the least likely buyer personae was the most powerful, driving 70% of total conversions.


Both of the first-party data-based targeting strategies employed in Campaign 02 outperformed the inclusion strategies of Campaign 01 and proved to be just as effective as exclusion strategies.

The more traditional Audience Extension approach reduced eCPA by 59%, while Contextual Audience Extension delivered even bigger results, reducing eCPA by 81%.

Exponential Returns

Through both campaigns, Audi Denmark demonstrated that novel targeting strategies such as excluding the least likely buyers is an effective, privacy-first way to reach new prospects and content not captured by more traditional targeting methods.

Contextual Audience Extension, however, delivered exponentially more, allowing Audi Denmark to get the most value out of first-party data and discover new consumers, deliver personalized ads on pages competitors haven’t found and boost engagement and reach more cost-effectively.


Success in a privacy-first world requires a well-balanced approach of innovative targeting technologies that deliver flexibility, performance and control.

With the most complete contextual targeting platform, Audi Denmark derived maximum value from first-party data for superior precision, scale and, most importantly, results.

Moving forward, Audi Denmark will continue to use Semasio to put its targeting superpowers to work and combine audiences and context to see what others can’t.

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