Pontiac Puts Its Faith In Google Results

from the advertising-without-a-net dept

When the internet was first becoming a commercial success, big name advertisers would go out and buy AOL keywords, and at the end of TV and radio commercials tell people to search on those keywords. As advertisers finally learned that the internet was a lot more than just AOL, that practice faded away. In 2002 we noted that one advertiser had decided that even putting URLs in a commercial was too cumbersome and, instead, just told people to Google its name. It was a sign of faith that Google would return the right result. It looks like that’s gone a step further now. Pontiac is apparently advertising in some locations with a television ad that tells people to search Google for Pontiac (and even shows a screenshot) to see what people are saying about the car company. John Battelle points out that other carmakers might want to think about bidding up the price of AdWords on that keyword now (my quick test shows a Mazda ad in the top slot — so perhaps they’ve already begun). What’s interesting is that Pontiac parent GM says part of the reason they’re doing this is to associate the company with a strong brand — the same argument we heard a few months ago for why certain companies were willing to pay a premium to be in Google’s print ad experiments. Apparently, just any association with the company is viewed as a good thing by some advertisers. Still, this does seem like a risky move — and simply cries out for search engine manipulators to mess around with the results seen on a search on the keyword Pontiac.

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Comments on “Pontiac Puts Its Faith In Google Results”

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Sohrab says:

No Subject Given

I believe this is part of Pontiacs new image of trying to be a cool hip car company. Google is the new hip thing that brought back search engines to life and made them matter and a household name.

Pontiac with their new car “Vibe” and commercial saying “they never missed a beat” so now their taking it a step further and putting a “hip” company in their corner.

whatever i say, retarded but more power for google 🙂

Fed Up says:


Well, sad for all those ani-google people out there that just hope that it would mess up by puttin a ford.com site or somethin’ else you didn’t search for… Google is reliable. Thats why they are the most known and used search engine. Face it, the people at google actually have a head on their shoulders. Random site don’t show up when runnin the search, unless you feel like screwin’ with the was the technology was design and threw in a bunch of random wide range words – could still be difficult. Google is an every day thing, for pretty much every one. And they are pretty reliable with most of their services.

Rick says:

It doesn't matter...

Pontiac’s goal was to be associated with a hip site like Google. They’ve done that. This article is just one example of the power of that choice, we’re talking about it right here. Mission accomplished.

The very tiny percentage of people who see the commercials and actually go to Google to learn more about Pontiac understand what google is and how to use a search engine. They’ll find the information they want on Pontiac and appreciate the honesty of the company. They’ll likely also recognize the overhyped BS when they get to the googlebombed sites and move to the next one.

BTW, doesn’t Google also offer ‘AOL type keywords’ to people who ‘opt-in’ to the search service, sending them to the most relevant site for a keyword rather than the results? (now the default option in Google toolbar I believe)

In the end, a good marketing ploy…

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