Adwords Evolved

I don’t usually get too inspired by advertising. Some times it makes me laugh or pulls at some heartstrings, but it doesn’t really inspire me to look at the world in a different way. Then my co-worker Clark showed me this.

Converse just won an Effie for flipping Google Adwords completely on its head. In the past, if people wanted to sell shoes, they would by the Adword for ‘shoes’ or ‘footwear’ or if they’re feeling adventurous, ‘kicks’. Then if people search for “shoe” they’ll see the link. The more marketers buy the same words, the more expensive that Adword is. That basically means every shoe marketer in the world is inflating the price of the word, creating more competition for themselves, and probably not meaningfully reaching anyone. (When’s the last time you searched for shoes? You either hit the brand or you go to Zappos.)

Converse flipped the script, they started buying Adwords that their demographic were already searching on. How did they know what they were searching? They just looked at Google Zeitgeist. So now, when a teen is searching for ‘how to kiss’ they might see a link for a Converse mini-site. The mini site is a moment to connect, and it’s a link back to Converse (if they want it). The only way you get to pull that off is by intimately knowing your customers and knowing what they want.

I would expect that Google will start to price terms in Zeitgeist slightly higher (if they don’t already). I think this campaign will probably change the way people buy Adwords. It’s like human-centered media planning…what an oxy-moron.

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