Pay per click (PPC) has boomed over the last decade as more marketers discover the unique wonders of this tool. PPC ads run on search engines and other popular platforms to move websites to the top of results pages without having to necessarily ‘earn’ their spot up there. When done correctly, brands can get massive returns. And we mean massive. Try paying only £3 for a click but making £300 in sales. Below are 5 of the most creative PPC campaigns in the last decade; these brands have made the big bucks by getting creative with PPC.
It’s not unusual to target misspelled words as a PPC strategy. However, Snickers, have taken this to a whole new level. Snickers were able to obtain a list of the top 500 search terms to create an algorithm. They managed to generate a list of over 25,000 different misspellings of these words. A few of the misspelled words included ‘wether’ and ‘definately’. They obviously took advantage of the incorrect words people typed out which brought them a large amount of traffic for the Snickers campaign. Smart, right? In around two days, Snickers had over 500,000 ad impressions with a click-through rate of 1.05%.
The Perfume Shop is the world’s second largest retailer of branded fragrances. So, they used the fact that they sell celebrity perfumes to push their adverts onto celebrity videos on Youtube for 6 months. The aim was to use PPC to increase brand awareness whilst generating a huge amount of sales of particular branded fragrances by celebrities, such as Beyonce and Sarah Jessica Parker. This worked for them because users that watch these celebrity videos were already interested in the celebrities themselves; being immersed in the celebrity culture of today’s world. This made it easy to reach the correct audience as they were already at the right place. The result? They received over 9 million views from the ads and gained a whopping 236% return on investment (ROI).
When Apple’s iphone 6s came out, so did Samsung Galaxy S6. Two giant phone manufacturers, one battle. Samsung obviously had to step up their PPC ads on Google. So, every time a user searched for “iphone 6s”, a Samsung advert would pop up with the title “Awkward… You obviously mean S6 – Samsung.com”. A courageous move by Samsung. This funny but cut-throat advert poked fun at Apple without even needing to mention Apple, the brand name. Ingenious! They then took the opportunity to tell visitors what the Samsung S6 had that an iphone lacked. There is no concrete evidence that this competitive PPC campaign actually converted iphone users, but it certainly turned heads and speaks to Samsung’s clever content and overpowering creativity. It’s not cheating, it’s playing it smart. Your turn, Apple.
Converse developed an innovative PPC campaign to increase engagement with their large teenage audience online. They studied audience behaviour and used their Google Adwords as a platform to allow them to remain relevant in their market. They had ‘converse-ations’ with their teenage audience rather than solely selling their products directly. A campaign was created to target search terms such as, ‘first day of summer’, ‘how to kiss’ and ‘how to talk to girls’ to determine what their potential customers might be searching for. The interesting part was that converse did not display an ad but an ad copy that interconnected websites to allow their users to engage in a more stimulating, content rich experience. Ultimately, this enabled them to be present during pop cultural moments that will always lead users back to their brand.
Ann summers took PPC through a more unconventional path. They used their campaign as a branding tool. Their strategy was to tap into current events by bidding on popular news-related search terms to place their cheeky ad copies to increase their brand awareness. The ads were shown over a whopping 1 million times. Even mainstream media publications picked up on the ads. What’s crazy is that they only spent £4500 for all of this exposure; and paired up with their bold and raunchy ad copies, it was a match made in PPC heaven.