March 16, 2022 by Linda


The (bicycle) journey to


advertising strategy.



Scrapping cookies and pedaling ahead

Gazelle has been operating in the bicycle industry with great passion since 1982. "Nothing rides like a Gazelle" is the motto of the bicycle brand. Through its campaigns, Gazelle translates its brand values to align with the (potential) bicycle and e-bike user. With this, Gazelle tries to reach and convince every interested customer. Due to the changes in the digital advertising ecosystem regarding third-party cookies, online advertising agency Opt Out Advertising advises to switch over to cookie-independent and privacy-friendly advertising. DEPT, in collaboration with Opt Out Advertising, has taken steps to achieve this for Gazelle.


Our approach

Currently, often only available third-party cookies are being used, since this is where the target group can be seen. As a result, you will soon miss 20% of the total reachable target group. Although consumers proactively refuse cookies to protect personal data, this does not necessarily mean that they are not receptive to relevant advertisements. That is why DEPT was looking for a relevant way to reach this group: with the technique of Opt Out Advertising. This technique ensures that advertisers can deliver their campaigns to the 'no-consent' target group without using personal data from this group.

Together with Opt Out Advertising, DEPT researched the difference in behavior between the consent (people who accept cookies) and no-consent (people who refuse cookies) target groups. The goal: to investigate how receptive the two target groups are to advertisements and find out what opportunities lie here for Gazelle. With this, DEPT is preparing Gazelle for the future by being one of the first advertisers to use the technique of Opt Out Advertising and taking steps towards a strategy without the use of third-party cookies.

The hypothesis

The technique of Opt Out Advertising has been applied to the Regional Public Broadcasters (RPO). They were a good match for Gazelle's brand campaign because they have a large reach throughout all of the Netherlands. The hypothesis is as follows: “Campaigns that are delivered to the 'no-consent target group' can produce similar results as the target group ‘with cookies’.” If this hypothesis turns out to be correct, this means additional reach for Gazelle when they also include the no-consent target audience in campaign targeting.


The results

When analyzing the case, we found that the campaign results of people who do and do not give consent are generally close. The hypothesis therefore can be answered positively: campaigns that are delivered to the no-consent target group yield comparable results as the target group with cookies. Provided you look far enough into the data.

What was striking from the case was that the no-consent target group even seems to click much more consciously and stays on the website longer, which results in higher quality website traffic. For Gazelle, we can conclude from the research that the no-consent target group that has become interested would be more valuable than the visitors who did give consent. Cookie-independent and privacy-conscious advertising is a good move for Gazelle. That brings perspective and opportunities for the future.


What now?

Based on the campaign results, Gazelle is carrying a number of important learnings to the future:

  • Continue targeting both target groups, but respect the consumer's privacy choice:

    By definition is the third-party cookie not necessary to achieve good campaign results, Targeting both groups even ensures incremental reach.

  • This is important to further increase the relevance of the (contextual) targeting.

  • Actively engage in conversation with publishers about audience targeting

    Publishers are becoming even more important in the campaign field, which is why good cooperation with them remains important.

Questions about this case? Please contact Yvonne Dijkstra (Display / RTB Consultant at Dept) or Linda Worp (Business Development Manager at Opt Out Advertising).

Would you like to know more about how to set up a relevant and successful online campaign without using cookies? Get in touch with us by writing to