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January 15 2019

AdTheorent Taps the Power of Relationship Targeting to Drive Shelter Pet Adoption

First-of-its-Kind Relationship Targeting Drives 86% Lift in Conversion

New York, NY – January 15, 2019 – AdTheorent, Inc., a digital advertising leader using advanced machine learning technology and solutions to deliver real-world value for advertisers and marketers, today announced campaign results from the Ad Council’s “Shelter Pet Project,” a digital advertising campaign co-sponsored by The Humane Society and Maddie’s Project. The primary campaign objective was to drive deep funnel visits to the pet adoption page on the Web site AdTheorent used its Relationship Targeting capability to drive pet adoption consideration.

The Challenge:

2.4 million healthy and treatable pets are currently in shelters and the goal of the "The Shelter Pet Project" campaign is to help find a home for these pets.  "The Shelter Pet Project" campaign encouraged millions of pet lovers to make shelters the chosen method to adopt companion animals. 

The Approach:

AdTheorent worked with the Ad Council and the campaign sponsors to identify audiences which had previously visited AdTheorent then used its Relationship Graph comprised of 1.3 trillion connections to map the identified audience to its real-world connections, including an average of 14 friends, family members and co-habitants per user.AdTheorent mapped real-world human connections to target the family and co-habitants of the core group that had expressed interest in pet adoption, with the goal of influencing the core audience through these relationships.

Campaign Results:

Relationship Targeting was a perfect fit for this campaign because pet adoption is a family-based or collaborative decision. Reaching the core consumer who had shown initial interest in pet adoption by visiting, as well as his or her family members, combined to drive a higher conversion.  Relationship Targeting drove an 86% lift in conversion, as opposed to targeting only the individual who had previously visited the adoption URL.  Relationship Targeting demonstrated that with a larger influence from family, engagement rate performance improved and more users advanced within the adoption funnel.  Conversion rates for in-market individuals who had 6 connections who were also served advertisements outperformed (by 70%) the conversion rates for in-market individuals with only one connection who had been served an ad. 

“We’ve been working with the Pet Shelter Project since 2009 and we’re so proud that pet euthanasia has decreased by 12 percent during this time,” said Katherine Pastre, SVP, Media Strategy and Outreach of Ad Council. “AdTheorent’s Relationship Targeting approach drove higher conversions by reaching the whole family or household of an individual who expressed initial interest.   This is very exciting as we have the possibility of driving larger adoption and lower euthanasia rates, which is our mission.”

To find out more about the “Shelter Pet Project” campaign, please visit

About AdTheorent®

AdTheorent uses advanced machine learning technology and solutions to deliver real-world value for advertisers and marketers.  AdTheorent’s industry-leading machine learning platform powers its predictive targeting, geo-intelligence, proprietary relationship graph and in-house creative capability, Studio A\T. This product suite allows advertisers to identify the most qualified individuals coupled with the optimal creative experience to drive campaign performance and deliver on advertiser KPIs at scale. 

In the last year, AdTheorent’s solutions have been recognized with numerous awards, including: “Best AI-Based Advertising Solution” (AI Breakthrough Awards), “Most Innovative Product” (B.I.G. Innovation Awards), “Most Innovative Platform” (DMA Innovation Award), as well as Frost & Sullivan’s “Digital Advertising Leadership Award” and Deloitte’s Technology “Fast 500.”  AdTheorent is headquartered in New York, with twelve office across the United States and Canada.  For more information, visit

The Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.


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