Success Stories

January 15 2019

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

Advertiser Objective:

AdTheorent partnered with the Ad Council to support the “Shelter Pet Project,” a digital advertising initiative co-sponsored by The Humane Society and Maddie’s Project. The goal of the Shelter Pet Project is to find a home for the 2.4 million healthy and treatable pets that are currently in shelters. The primary campaign objective was to drive deep funnel visits to the pet adoption page on AdTheorent used its Relationship Targeting capability to drive pet adoption consideration.

AdTheorent Solution:

First, AdTheorent identified audiences who had previously visited the Shelter Pet Project’s website. AdTheorent then used its Relationship Graph, comprised of 1.3 trillion connections, to map the identified audience to their real-world relationships, 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: 

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. 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."

SVP, Media Strategy and Outreach of Ad Council

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