Remember the post earlier about Pontiac telling people to search for them on Google? What I loved especially about that was it reminded me of Gregory Markel over at Infuse Creative telling me how he helped Pontiac-competitor Mazda drive a benefit off a similar campaign that Pontiac did with Yahoo last year. Now history repeats once again.
Last year on The Apprentice, Pontiac used a programming tie-in to tell people to look them up on Yahoo, where Yahoo had inserted some type of Yahoo Shortcut-style link.
Gregory noticed this link came below the sponsored search results -- and if I recall correctly, Pontiac hadn't bought any of those. So he got Mazda into that space. For a few thousand dollars, he tapped into traffic from a product placement set-up that cost over a million, if I recall. He's actually got an awesome little video I want him to show publicly that explains it all very well with voiceovers, music and images.
Today, John Battelle notes that Mazda has bought a sponsored link on Google to come up for those Pontiac-driven searches.
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Andrew Goodman breaks down the comparative advertising campaign more here. Meanwhile, self-confessed data geek Bill Tancer over at Hitwise couldn't resist looking at traffic to the Pontiac site over time. You can see how the TV mentions to check Yahoo last year and Google this year drove traffic to Pontiac. He also shows how the site that received the most "pontiac" searches on search engines after Pontiac was -- yep, Mazda.
All this brings me back to something that came up at our Future Of Search Engine Marketing panel at SES Chicago last month. While several of the search marketers said that they were getting money formerly devoted to TV, none of them wanted TV spending to be cut entirely. TV drives search traffic, which in turn helps them.
That got me to wonder/observe to the audience if we'll see a change coming over the next year or so. Instead of people wondering how search can tie into other campaigns, maybe we'll see search become the primary target of a campaign. In other words, Pontiac someday might plan to do a big search buy and want to ensure they drive traffic to support that -- so television, radio, outdoors will all be purchases to push search.