Brand Purpose Creative Works Business Leadership

Who will be crowned Trader of the Year at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2022?

By Michael Nutley, Writer for The Drum

December 2, 2022 | 11 min read

Sponsored by:

What's this?

Sponsored content is created for and in partnership with an advertiser and produced by the Drum Studios team.

Find out more

Programmatic trading has changed the world of advertising beyond measure, and The Drum and The Trade Desk want to recognize the people who make it happen. Find out who’s up for Trader of the Year at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2022, and why.

Trader of the Year winner revealed at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2022

Trader of the Year winner revealed at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2022

For the third year, The Drum Awards for Digital Industries will reward the companies and people behind the most effective digital campaigns around the world. This year we’ve joined forces with The Trade Desk to celebrate trading excellence and the immense contribution traders make to digital advertising.

All seven of the nominees for this award – from Omnicom, Digitas, Hearts & Science, Spark Foundry, PHD and Publicis Media – have already won one of The Trade Desk’s Bid Factor awards. They’ve shown their grasp of platforms such as connected TV (CTV) and digital out-of-home (DOOH); their understanding of how to make the most of data and architecture; their ability to innovate; and their overall excellence. Now it’s time to see which one The Drum judges will choose as their Trader of the Year.

Meet the nominees

Brecht Debels

Brecht Debels, Omnicom Media Group

Winner: Best Use of Data

A large spirits company approached Omnicom to promote its summer product range. The obligation to only advertise to over-18s meant using a medium that allowed pin-point targeting. On top of that, Omnicom wanted to future-proof digital targeting by using solutions that didn’t rely on third-party cookies.

The resulting strategy had three stages:

1. Use video to drive awareness via curated premium publishers with contextually targeted inventory to reach new audiences.

2. Maximize exposure and engagement through High Impact Rich Media format advertising, then use display formats to prompt user interaction.

3. Leverage the client’s first-party data and the retargeting feature of The Trade Desk’s video event player to re-engage users and prompt action.

Omnicom worked with The Trade Desk to deliver this strategy, which involved non-third party cookie-based audience targeting, cookieless solutions through contextually curated inventory, an agency-first test with a cookieless solution technology, and the client’s own first-party data.

The campaign outperformed on all key media metrics, including video completion (+17%), viewability (+21%), display CTR (+467%) and CPM (-13%).


Lucy Aplin, Digitas

Winner: Best Use of Architecture

Throughout 2021, the travel industry faced a highly challenging period due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Working for one of the world’s largest hotel chains, Digitas’ objective was to grow the existing EMEA remarketing campaign to ensure it remained cost efficient, while also increasing the booking volumes and revenue. The campaign also meant implementing dynamic creative to populate the ads in real-time to deliver the highest relevancy and drive engagement across 30 EMEA markets. And all while avoiding downtime in the booking process.

Digitas initially audited the campaign, then worked with The Trade Desk to ensure all relevant platform products and tools were utilized. A project roadmap kept each aspect on track and delivered each requirement within timelines. The agency worked closely with The Trade Desk account managers and its engineering team to develop existing platform features to ensure it was not restricted in the required campaign architecture.

The agency successfully implemented the strategy using intelligent tools developed by The Trade Desk across its suite of products. This ensured the new campaign architecture significantly improved performance across all KPIs: 289% increase in attributed bookings; 65% increase in ROI; 55% reduction in cost per booking. Campaigns are now optimized at a hotel level and efficiencies increased by reducing purchase funnel; users on average booked five days after being retargeted (down from eight).


Manuel Lecona, Hearts & Science (Team AMQ / TeamX)

Winner: Best Use of Digital Out-Of-Home

Hearts & Science worked with a major car manufacturer to launch a new all-electric SUV. The agency’s approach aimed to drive awareness of the new model in a way that reflected one of the brand’s core attributes – innovation. Hearts & Science used The Trade Desk’s suite of tools and extensive list of data partners to target segments including the manufacturer’s own opted-in database, and high-interest users who fitted the new model’s profile.

The campaign combined:

First-party data: activating the clients’ own data added an extra layer of targeting without additional cost, allowing the agency to put DOOH ads in front of people who had already engaged with the brand.

Behavioral data: to increase reach in a qualified way, the brand also included third-party data segments of users it was interested in.

DOOH: using its own DOOH tools together with the segments selected, Hearts & Science was able to target users who over-indexed in specific parts of the cities at certain times.

Third-party measurement: working with one of its key data partners in the region, the agency was able to measure and optimize the campaign by connecting DOOH impressions to real drive-to-store results.

The campaign achieved 3.2 million audience impressions and a conversion rate of 37%. In addition, its design and execution meant the brand was seen using DOOH in a sophisticated way, reinforcing its claim to be one of the world’s most innovative luxury brands.


Melissa Morrison, Spark Foundry

Winner: Best Use of Multichannel

A global beauty brand wanted to secure its market-leading position in the anti-aging skincare category through the launch of its Extra-Firming Energy Day Cream. The brand hoped the launch would attract new customers to its range of anti-aging products, and help it promote the new, natural ingredients of the product to existing customers, along with its benefits for mature skin.

The product is predominantly aimed at women in their 40s. They’re more likely to be parents, and to be working full-time.

Delivering a campaign to drive both awareness and sales required a multichannel approach with touchpoints across the sales funnel. The campaign was built on a three-part strategy – Pitch, Play and Plunge – each part using multiple advertising formats. Channel selection was based on the need to reach the time-poor target audience in relevant locations and in the moments when they would be most likely to engage.

  1. Pitch – DOOH and audio
  2. Play – Display and video
  3. Plunge – Display retargeting.

Consolidating all activation through The Trade Desk platform was also key, ensuring audience targeting and measurement was seamlessly connected across all media. The campaign delivered its goal of driving product awareness through multiple channels, with 8% of those targeted also likely to purchase the product.


Ornella Grillo, Marita Fontichiari & Stefano Forcinetti, PHD

Winner: Best Use of CTV

An activewear brand wanted to target the ‘Urban Outdoor Generation’; people living in big cities who have an active lifestyle. The challenge for PHD was to hit the right user with the right creative message, through the new medium of CTV, using qualitative data based both on cookies, device ID and contextual targeting.

PHD adopted a six-country strategy, with a different campaign for each country. Every campaign had an ad group for each audience and each publisher. Delivery was geotargeted to major cities where one of the brand’s stores was located and refined with the adoption of premium data segments. The agency used third-party data targeting, and weather targeting when the prevailing conditions in a particular country were either rainy, windy or cold. This advanced data strategy was possible thanks to The Trade Desk’s technology, which was able to convert and associate cookie- and device ID-based data to the CTV environment.

Constant optimization meant PHD reduced CPM by 12% compared to initial estimates, so the campaign reached a much more qualified audience for the same budget. Completion rate reached 99% VTR, 17% higher than the benchmark. In total the campaign delivered 4,391,405 impressions, reaching 1,317,850 unique households.

Segzin and Simon

Sezgin Gündüz & Simon Strohmann, PHD

Winner: Best Use of Innovation

PHD was managing more than 80 car dealerships, each with different locations, audiences, demographics and interests, resulting in more than 1,000 different strategies in total. This required extensive setup and management. The agency wanted to reduce the time the team spent on managing this client’s campaigns, without compromising the frequency, reliability or scale of optimization changes.

Due to the limitations of its previous tech partner, the client moved to The Trade Desk to test the capabilities of its API connection. The main focus for PHD’s first test was delivery (pacing), since each dealer had different budgets and therefore also different audience possibilities based on their ZIP code areas.

Using The Trade Desk API Template, PHD generated a template representing the best working strategies. Campaigns were created and managed by PHD via the API Template, with support of a technology provider. Budgets were tailored to dealers, as were creatives. As a result, PHD was able to manage 80 different campaigns (one per dealer), each with a specific budget, geolocation and creatives, and each with 10 different strategies. PHD now uses the API product for a number of advertisers with complex sets of locations, budgets and messages.

Somer Metin

Somer Metin, Publicis Media

Winner: The Trading Excellence Award

One of Germany’s first digital asset managers wanted to generate more awareness of its individualized investment options for both newcomers to the stock market and experienced investors. Simultaneously it wanted to drive more online conversions by running diverse campaigns via The Trade Desk. The main campaign KPI was to generate a lower ‘Client CPA’ compared to other platforms.

The setup included a variety of first- and third-party data and environment strategies. Meanwhile the use of a wide range of ad formats and creatives (such as native and display with more than 50 different creatives) created the best possible conditions for optimization. The campaign was launched with broad targeting to successively identify qualified users and address them with a higher frequency. For this purpose, custom data segments were pushed into The Trade Desk DMP and used in separate ad groups. The campaign was delivered exclusively in the open market so that an advanced bidding strategy could be used to generate a higher agency margin. Varying Client CPA targets per ad group were used to distinguish between the different contributions of each ad group to the overall performance.

This approach led to a constantly low media CPM throughout the campaign’s runtime. The variety of strategies and creatives meant the campaign could be optimized in the most efficient way, reducing the Client CPA from -106% in the first month to 43% two months later.

Tune in to find out The Trader of the Year winner during The Drum’s Awards Festival 2022 on December 7.

Brand Purpose Creative Works Business Leadership

Content created with:

The Trade Desk

The Trade Desk™ is a global technology company that empowers buyers of advertising. Through its self-service, cloud-based platform, ad buyers can create, manage,...

Find out more

More from Brand Purpose

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +