Advertising & Promotion

AdTheorent,a digital advertising leader Partners with Ad Council

Digital Campaign Drives 96% Lower Cost-Per-Action Than Benchmark
promotional advertising

AdTheorent, Inc., a digital advertising leader using advanced machine learning technology and solutions to deliver real-world value for advertisers, the Ad Council, the national nonprofit that mobilizes the energy and talents of the communications industry to make a measurable impact on the most critical social issues of today, and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which has helped more then 11 million individuals take their first steps towards literacy, announced campaign results from the “Finish Your Diploma” High School Equivalency digital advertising campaign.

The Situation:
A high school diploma can afford people with more job security and new opportunities.

Without a high school diploma, many are forced to work multiple jobs with lower pay. In fact, those without a high school degree represent nearly 3 in 10 adults with household incomes below the federal poverty line.  In addition, according to the US Census, Hispanic individuals represent the largest group of people who have not completed high school.1  The overall goal for this digital advertising campaign was to reach Hispanics who have not completed high school and motivate them to find free adult education classes to help put them on a path to earn a GED or other high school equivalency credential. While there may be personal barriers to earn a high school diploma, the campaign encourages the target audience letting them know that it’s never too late to go back to school and open the door to new opportunities.

The Approach:
The Dollar General Foundation offers an array of resources that aim to make literacy and education more accessible including an online tool that provides site visitors with a list of free education centers nearby. With the primary target audience of Hispanic adults, AdTheorent developed custom machine learning models across mobile and desktop devices and used predictive targeting to reach people within that demographic with the highest likelihood of completing the online action of entering a zip code to locate free adult education classes, ultimately increasing access to free education resources in target Hispanic communities.  To reach Hispanic audiences specifically, AdTheorent’s Data Science team utilized 1st party data to optimize towards Hispanic user conversions, considering model attributes such as location (based on US Census data), publisher language and audience composition and user device language settings.   Using conversion data from the target website (, predictive models optimized toward users most likely to take desired actions on the brand site.

Campaign Results:
The campaign successfully drove many users to enter their zip code to locate nearby free education classes.  Overall, AdTheorent’s donated inventory delivered a CPA of $22.38, which was 26x better than the target CPA of $585.

  • For the Spanish-language creative, AdTheorent outperformed the CPA benchmark ($785) by 41x, delivering a CPA of $18.78.
  • For the English-language creative, AdTheorent delivered a CPA of $25.16 versus a benchmark of $385 (15x lower).

AdTheorent’s data-driven platform identified targeting variables which yielded conversion lift, providing valuable insights for future flights of the Campaign. For example, Wi-Fi users drove a stronger CPA at home versus at work, and, CPA performance continued to increase throughout the day, driving the most efficient CPA later at night ($3.53 at 11:00 p.m.).

“AdTheorent’s ability to use demographic targeting parameters in conjunction with other real-time predictive targeting signals enables them to reach users most likely to take desired campaign actions, resulting in more efficient media serving to reach our established target audiences and leading to better results,” said Katherine Pastre, SVP, Media Strategy and Outreach of Ad Council.  “For the ‘Finish Your Diploma’ campaign, AdTheorent donated their strategic services and inventory to deliver media that far outperformed the campaign’s existing benchmarks, allowing us to reach and motivate more people to earn their degrees.”

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