Cobalt® Achieves IAB Certification for Automotive’s First Hyper-local Advertising Platform

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Cobalt innovates to connect national advertising execution with local retail sales

SEATTLE, WA, July 16, 2013—Cobalt, a business unit of ADP Dealer Services, Inc. and the global leader in digital solutions for automotive manufacturers and their dealer networks, today announced it has joined the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and has completed certification of its proprietary Cobalt ad server. Cobalt’s ad server is the first automotive-specific ad decisioning and delivery platform, and the first hyper-local advertising platform to achieve this certification. The certification facilitates Cobalt’s partnerships with automotive agencies of record to provide a seamless consumer experience for in-market shoppers from national advertising execution to purchase in a specific retail dealership. The certification also facilitates individual automotive dealer access to an advanced level of advertising technology previously only available to national advertisers.
Hyper-local advertising is difficult in a national franchise setup because of the deep granularity required in location targeting. Certain zip codes are owned by certain franchised advertisers. Existing ad serving technology cannot deliver at a five digit zip code granularity across thousands of advertisers. At best, ad impressions are rotated evenly throughout a DMA for all advertisers. The Cobalt ad server solves this issue by reading consumer zip code locations and dynamically selecting the advertisers associated with the zip code. The platform delivers the right advertiser along with the appropriate message for each consumer segment.
The Cobalt ad server is one component of Cobalt’s Advertising technology stack, an “API-first solution” that allows Cobalt to automatically book media, assign creative and configure campaigns for thousands of local advertiser campaigns, and assign those campaigns to a global supply of publisher and ad network inventory. This unique platform delivers state of the art dynamic creative execution for local automotive advertisers. At impression-time, the Cobalt platform identifies the audience segment, chooses the advertiser, chooses the message and then executes the customized creative, displaying an ad that is both relevant and local.
Key to the performance of the platform is the native integration of the Cobalt ad server with Cobalt’s Data Management Platform (DMP®), providing seamless access to very granular audience segmentation. Whereas traditional Demand Side Platform (DSP)/DMP linkages are based on the DMP extracting segments and pushing to the DSP, the Cobalt approach has been to link the systems with shared core components. So instead of 1:1 campaign to segment association constructed in the DMP and programed into the DSP, Cobalt has built a technology that provides 1:10,000 campaign to segment association. One campaign has access to tens of thousands of segments, with unique creative and messaging available for each one. Cobalt’s platform eliminates the need to cherry pick segments – every opportunity can be leveraged by the advertiser, allowing even small segments to be productively included by Cobalt’s advertisers In addition, Cobalt’s hyper-local budget management gives local advertisers with very small monthly budgets access to media that is traditionally only available to mega-buyers, distributing the budget evenly to provide consistent exposure for local advertisers across the entire month. Max Steckler, Vice President of Global Advertising Products likens the technology to a sophisticated refinery. “At one end, our technology looks and feels a lot like a classic agency trading desk – identifying audience segments and acquiring media for the campaigns - but the output at the other end delivers an 1 advertiser / 1 market experience. By buying global and executing local, we are essentially able to deliver to small, local businesses the same media design, segmentation, planning, buying, and execution that a million dollar advertiser would have access to.”
The audit process for IAB certification, performed by Interactive Media Services Group, certifies that Cobalt technology is fully compliant with IAB guidelines for web impression and click measurement.
Cobalt solutions are available for automotive manufacturers, regional automotive marketing groups, dealer groups and individual dealerships.
About Cobalt
Cobalt, a business unit of ADP Dealer Services, provides digital marketing solutions to a majority of US automotive dealers and manufacturers, and is North America’s leading provider of automotive marketing services. For over 17 years, Cobalt’s mission has been to help automotive dealers and manufacturers increase their retailing effectiveness and profitability. The company offers a comprehensive set of highly effective and efficient marketing solutions and services, delivering seamless shopping experiences to consumers, and high quality sales opportunities to dealers. Visit
About ADP
ADP® (NASDAQ: ADP), with more than $10 billion in revenues and approximately 600,000 clients, is one of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing and human capital management solutions. Leveraging over 60 years of experience and a global footprint spanning more than 40 countries, ADP offers a wide range of human resource, payroll, talent management, tax and benefits administration solutions from a single source, and helps clients comply with regulatory and legislative changes, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). ADP's easy-to-use solutions for employers provide superior value to companies of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle, marine, recreational vehicle, and heavy equipment dealers throughout the world. For more information about ADP or to contact a local ADP sales office, reach us at 1.800.225.5237 or visit the company's Web site at
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