Archive for June 9th, 2010

Is it Unethical for BP to Buy Google Ads on Oil Spill-Related Keywords?

Also published on The Huffington Post and techPresident

Minor scuffle in the online communications world: BP has purchased Google Ads on search terms related to the Gulf oil spill (for example: “oil spill”), with its ads showing up at the top of the results column whenever people look for those keywords. The resulting landing page is neatly scrubbed of most oily nastiness, putting a very bright face on the company’s clean-up work and avoiding discussion of BP’s ultimate corporate responsibility. Unethical? Or just distasteful?

The argument against BP’s search campaign has two main two aspects: first, some articles have claimed that people often don’t discriminate between organic and paid search results, even though the paid ads are in a different color and marked as “sponsored links.” This tendency could lend extra credibility to BP’s link, since it shows up at the top of the search results list, making it an “Orwellian” attempt to control the public dialogue (a view amplified by media coverage saying that the company “bought search terms” rather than “bought ads related to search terms). But again, the ads are marked as “sponsored,” and BP could have avoided the critique almost entirely by purchasing only sidebar ads rather than ones that appear above the organic search results.

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Online Advertising Late in an Election Cycle: Focus on Persuasion

Josh Koster and Tyler Davis’s follow-up to yesterday’s piece on early-in-cycle list-building advertising. See also their earlier Ten Commandments of Campaign Social Media, all excerpted from the (free to download) Digital Political Campaigns 101.

Late-Cycle Persuasion Advertising

By Josh Koster and Tyler Davis
Excerpted from Digital Political Campaigns 101

Q: Now it’s almost election day. We’re going up on TV, knocking on doors, etc. What changes?

A: The final weeks of the campaign are an entirely different animal. Be prepared to spend more in a single day than you spent in a month early on. Before you were targeting a tiny audience of influentials and uber-activists. You were prospecting. You were showing a few ads to each audience member to make sure the ones who we’re interested had their opportunity to click their way into your acquisition funnel.

Now you have to talk to voters, a lot. And you’re no longer prospecting. You’re hammering your talking points and message into voters’ heads – whether or not they care enough about your race to actually click on an ad. Be prepared to make it rain impressions of bigger and more expensive online ad creative. Creative that’s meant to be seen. Persuasion advertising is entirely different from acquisition advertising.

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1 comment June 9th, 2010 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us


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