The Welsh government asked iCrossing to communicate its official COVID-19 public health messages via programmatic display campaigns. With no prior learnings to lean on, our campaign needed to be nimble, keeping up with the ever-evolving coronavirus conversation by allocating the right budget to the most effective ad spots, with highly-relevant targeting.

Our approach

Staying in the loop.

For real-time coronavirus updates, iX Insight, our proprietary trend-spotting tool, tracked evolving themes. Owned by Hearst, iCrossing has access to a truly colossal amount of data from Hearst magazines. On a daily basis, this data collection tool pulls, categorises and visualises all queries that Hearst magazines appear for in Google search. We then use this vast amount of data (around 330,000,000 searches per month) to identify what topics the public are interested in – providing us with much greater detail than is available on Google Trends.

Turning data into action.

We wanted to track and rank public interest in four targeting categories: general, lockdown, keyworkers and testing. This would allow us to up/downweight budgets for line items targeting these categories based on current public interest.
We had access to all the trends data we needed from iX Insight, but no tech to automatically analyse it or action updates. So we built a tool to do just that.
We built a proprietary connector between our trend identification tool (iX Insight) and our delivery platform (DV360). This allowed us to keep on top of COVID-19 conversations and, where necessary, respond automatically to changes in areas of interest.


Being agile and reactive in an unpredictable time helped us make an incredible impact. 3/4 targeting groups saw a clear positive correlation between budget upweighting (i.e. public interest) and click-through rate. 

Click-through rate increased by 158% - from 0.12% to 0.31% (vs benchmark of 0.15%)
Cost-per-click decreased by 54% from £0.48 to £0.22 (vs benchmark of £0.50)