Top Manufacturers of Consumer Goods Using PPC for Brand Awareness

Some of the top manufacturers of consumer packaged goods (CPG) – those products like soda, candy, liquor, and toothpaste – are using paid search not for direct sales, but for brand awareness – just like they would television ads. This, according to a recent study by AdGooroo, which looked at the PPC strategies of some of the biggest consumer brands in the world like Coca-Cola, Kraft, and others.

Usually, brands investing in PPC want to see a direct return on investment. Companies that sell CPG do so through third parties like grocery stores, not usually direct to the consumer. Nonetheless, these brands have a budget – averaging 6.2 million per month – and growing, according to the research.


The following table shows the Top 50 CPG brands advertising in paid search, with the top three being (owning 16.8 percent of total CPG impressions), (6 percent of total CPG impressions) and (4.1 percent of total CPG impressions).


So what exactly was their strategy? AdGooroo said they took a “brand laddering” keyword approach where:

CPG marketers attempt to maximize share of voice by layering their keywords with terms that span different stages in a consumer’s awareness and usage of the brand, including: brand terms (“Special K”), product terms (“breakfast cereal”), problem/need terms (“healthy recipes”), and finally, occasion terms where the product would be used (“how to lose weight”).

Looking at some specific categories within CPG, we can see the various campiagn tactics. In the baking mixes category, AdGooroo found “the vast majority of top keywords in the Baking Mix subcategory are related to desserts and dessert recipes.” Here, you can see the Duncan Hnes keywords:


CPG manufacturers of beer have no trouble understanding their audience, and the relationship between football and alcohol.

“Paid search leader’s keyword strategy can be summed up in one word: football. Specifically, the term 'nfl draft' accounted for more than 2.6 million of its 4.9 million total impressions during the period,” AdGooroo said in its report.


In the oral hygiene category, Colgate used paid search to perform special outreach, too – to diabetes sufferers – forging campaigns that raise awareness about the elavated risk diabetes sufferers have for gum disease. 


For a more in-depth look at 12 CPG categories, their impressions, keywords, and PPC campaigns, you can get the AdGooroo report here

About the author

Jessica Lee is the founder of bizbuzzcontent, a boutique content services company that offers quality content creation services and content strategy consulting.

Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past seven years focused on the Web marketing space.

Prior to launching bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development, and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. - a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients.

Jessica has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University.

She contributed to the book Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies second edition, and her writing is featured in an active college textbook, Reading and Writing About Contemporary Issues.