If you go to Dictionary.com today or tomorrow, you'll notice a homepage takeover ad by Toyota featuring their hybrid Prius vehicle. It's part of a 2-day ad blitz campaign Toyota is conducting on the popular word lookup site, which sees 35 million visitors per month.
You'll also see display ads when you look up one of 100 words that Toyota chose to associate with the Prius. It's a new offering that Dictionary.com is offering brands and it has the potential to be quite a significant one.
This type of ad campaign takes keywords from the realm of ROI to branding. That may seem backwards, but there are a few things to consider.
Let's say a visitor to Dictionary.com searches for "hybrid." They're already searching and the ad they see is relevant. Other sites where you might see display ads (i.e.newspaper sites), visitors are consuming but not necessarily searching.
We also know that display ads drive people to search. So while the ROI may not always be as impressive with display alone (compared to search), combining display and search is significantly more powerful than search or display alone.
Also, when people are learning a new word, they may associate it with the brand that's being advertised on the page. This is genius if you're Toyota and you want consumers to associate the word hybrid with their Prius. You can imagine how many brands will want to be visible to associate their product with the initial learning of a word.
Some of the keywords Toyota chose are obvious such as hybrid, environment, or sustainability. Other words evoke a feeling that Toyota wants to associate with the Prius including happiness, comfort and style.
The homepage takeover part of the campaign is a first for Dictionary.com. Of course, Dictionary.com was acquired last year by Ask.com, which recently ran a homepage takeover featuring the Night at the Museum sequel. Ask.com says the campaign was "extremely successful" so it's no surprise to see Dictionary.com trying it out, too.
What do you think of this ad blitz? Is it something your brand would be interested in trying? Let us know in the comments.