Cannes Lions

Re-Programming Programmatic for Diversity

STARCOM, Chicago / PACO RABANNE / 2023

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The industry has a hole in its current programmatic targeting approach. It fails to connect with the vast majority of racially diverse US consumers (African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians). In fact, general market programmatic audiences deliver only 2% of racially diverse consumers, far short of the 40% US ethnic population.

This needed to change. Our objective was to rebuild digital programmatic general market audiences with equitable representation of diverse and non-diverse people and use them to drive brand lift and sales results for Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million Fragrance.

With 82% of its top retailer sales coming from diverse consumers, Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million needed to prioritize diverse consumers, especially for its holiday campaign. The holidays are a key fragrance season, with 45% of sales in December. Our goal was to create inclusive programmatic audiences for One Million, achieving equitable impression distribution of 40% diverse, in line with US census data.


Our strategy was to develop an Inclusive Buying Protocol that removes data bias and ensures a campaign’s programmatic audience impressions are delivered in line with our US racial/ethnic population. This first-of-its-kind, inclusive approach was created in partnership with the industry-wide consortium, the Once & For All Coalition which works to build a more equitable ad ecosystem.

Nielsen Advanced Analytics was our validation and measurement partner because of their data privacy compliance, and their panel data which measures both race (e.g., Black) and ethnicity (e.g., Hispanic). The Inclusive Buying Protocol guides media planners in:

1) Setting up desired programmatic campaign audiences,

2) Implementing custom Nielsen measurement capability (beta testing) for impression validation and diverse audience reach,

3) Activating an industry-first Insertion Order with approved legal language built in to hold programmatic suppliers accountable for delivering diverse equitable impressions,

4) Evaluating performance based on equitable impression delivery, and a brand lift study


Our Inclusive Buying Protocol (IBP) audience segments for 1 Million were built by using Boolean logic and setting bid multipliers to prioritize ethnic diverse delivery. Through a string of logic (AND/IF) statements we took the age (A18-49) and premium site list targeting requirements and combined them with tiered data streams including:

• 2P Data – Diverse skewing sites (not diverse-owned or targeted), and contextual & behavioral segments

• 3P Data – AA, USH & AAPI data segments (Epsilon, Blue Kai, Experian, etc.)

• Diverse-owned and diverse targeted media

• Diverse geo-cluster heavy ups

The campaign optimized toward equitable impression distribution, calculated using Nielsen’s Advanced Analytics beta product which uses Census diverse population and measurement against Nielsen panel data to validate race and ethnicity delivery. The goal was to deliver 40% of impressions to ethnically diverse Americans while aligning the buy with the premium nature of 1 Million.


With fantastic results for Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million, we showed that an inclusive approach to programmatic is possible and delivers benefits to the brand.

The campaign achieved equitable impression distribution of 58% diverse, 18 points above the 40% goal.

Inclusive delivery drove a lift in key 1 Million brand metrics among diverse consumers:

+14 points in aided awareness

+16 points in favorability, and

+13 points in purchase intent

And, this contributed to 1 Million’s strong December sales with dollar share up +0.6 points versus year ago, translating to +$5.4 Million in incremental omni sales (NPD).

We are applying these learnings to future Paco Rabanne campaigns and continue working with Nielsen to further build out measurement and validation components.

With the Inclusive Buying Protocol, we reversed unintended norms that were exclusionary and created a way to intentionally normalize inclusion, while demonstrating what that could do for Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million.

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