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Kokai: The Trade Desk's Next-Gen Open Web Advertising Upgrade

Discover the latest AI-powered upgrade, Kokai, from The Trade Desk, designed to enhance campaign optimization, data-sharing and measurement.

Alex Kennedy
Alex Kennedy

Jun 16, 2023

On June 6, 2023, The Trade Desk (TTD) announced an AI-powered upgrade to its platform called Kokai. This AI-powered upgrade is designed to address the dominance of Big Tech and walled gardens, offering a range of new features and partnerships to enhance campaign optimization, measurement, reporting, and data-sharing.

Watch the condensed Kokai release by TTD CEO Jeff Greene.


TTD is introducing the Retail Sales Index (one of the largest key-features of Kokai), which compiles data from TTD's extensive list of retail media partners to establish benchmarks for ad spend impact on both online and offline sales.

How Kokai impacts eCommerce reporting

Right from the start, campaigns leveraging Kokai's capabilities can benefit from free performance reporting provided by partners such as Walgreens, Albertsons, and Dollar General. Finch will be an early adopter of this technology and measurement, offing clients in store and digital measurement using 1PD, to provide a robust total figure of how display, video, native advertising, CTV, digital audio, digital out of home (DOOH), and of course retail media influences total sales and bottom line revenue uplift with applicable clients. Get in touch if you’d like to be involved in our betas!

TTDs new Partner Portal is now live

To encourage seamless integration and address previous concerns about approval wait times, TTD has also launched the Partner Portal. This online community enables third parties to more seamlessly integrate with TTD's APIs for OpenPath, UID2, and data-sharing. It's a step towards easier collaboration and smoother integration with partners to leverage even more features to drive success for all types of campaigns managed through TTD.

Unlike other walled garden equivalents, TTD is aiming to increase transparency, rather than further black box information, and Finch will be taking this same stance with our own product development wherever possible.

Smarter top-of-the-funnel activity with Quality Reach Index

Interestingly for traders and advertisers alike, TTD is also introducing the Quality Reach Index, a metric that assists marketers in targeting upper-funnel customer profiles that are highly relevant for driving lower-funnel conversions.

This new tool will help marketers optimize their branding and prospecting campaigns with precision, and gain incremental wins on their long term campaign strategies.

TTD is finding a new stride with AI improvements

Kokai's AI and UI enhancements are truly impressive. TTD's current AI optimization features have been expanded to include the ability to predict auction clearing prices and assign relevance scores to ad impressions tailored to specific target audiences.

The upgrade also includes improved AI optimization capabilities for performance forecasting, channel-based ad spend prioritization, and insights generation without relying on cookies or device IDs (timely considering the Cookiegate of late 2023!)

The Trade Desk’s power is in its versatility and control, far exceeding any other DSP in the market currently, this has in the past come with drawbacks (complication for non-tenured users, large amounts of manual tweaking and setup, etc.), these AI upgrades to KOA indicate a huge step forward in trader assistance, leaving more time for strategic and measurement activities to stretch every dollar spent.

What's next for The Trade Desk?

Kokai aside, looking ahead TTD has plans to introduce a shopping cart-like user interface by the end of the summer 2023. This interface will enable advertisers to visualize the impact of key metrics, such as relevance score, budget allocation, and performance forecasting, on their campaigns before making buying decisions.

Additionally, TTD is rolling out a more comprehensive user interface called the Programmatic Table, which breaks down campaigns into essential elements represented as boxes on a grid, reminiscent of the periodic table, advertisers versed in this methodology will have the ability to see the performance of campaigns instantly with a single snapshot view.

TTD is not stopping there. The company aims to expand OpenPath by increasing the number of integrated publishers from 20 to 100 in the next phase. Later this summer, TTD will provide updates on its UID2 identifier, including its availability as an open currency and plans for the EUID variant designed to comply with the EU's GDPR privacy law.

CEO Jeff Green also predicts that by the fourth quarter of 2024, over 50% of CTV impressions will be tied to a UID2.

The impact of these developments on Finch's current and future customers is difficult to quantify, but one thing is certain: the enhanced campaign optimization capabilities will undoubtedly lead to greater ROI. Additionally, the introduction of EUID allows TTD to stay ahead of the increasingly stringent GDPR regulations. It's an exciting time for both TTD, Finch, and its customers!

Alex Kennedy

We think Alex is the most knowledgable and experienced DSP expert in the market. His expertise is crucial to how we think about eCommerce.

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