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How america searches   search bowl
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How america searches search bowl


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  • 1. Search Bowl 2006:An Analysis of Offline and Online Brand Impact REPORT February 2006 On Sunday, February 5, 2006, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks took to the field for Super Bowl XL. As the NFL’s two top teams battled it out, the nation’s leading advertisers took to the airwaves and the internet for a major contest of their own. On the field, the Steelers were the better prepared team and they ultimately prevailed. But which advertisers prepared to earn the most out of the high-cost, high-visibility commercials aired during the game by optimizing their web presence for the flood of search traffic that came from interested consumers in the wake of Super Bowl TV blitz? RDM’s Search Bowl team determined an overall index or ranking for the Super Bowl advertisers by matching all branded and non-branded keywords relevant to the advertisers and the creative content of their TV spots, and then calculating positioning against the major search engines and estimated search traffic. The overall index demonstrates the visibility of a company, on a sliding scale from 1 to 10 for a defined set of branded, non-branded and generic Super Bowl commercial keywords, where a score of 3 signifies moderate visibility for search, a score of 5 reveals high visibility and a score of 6 or greater indicates dominance. THE BREAKDOWN Category Advertisers Score Winners Sprint FedEx Ameriquest GoDaddy Nationwide Toyota Contenders CareerBuilder Fidelity Investments Ford GM Honda Back of the Pack Budweiser Burger King Coca-Cola ESPN Hummer Motorola (C) Copyright 2007. iCrossing, Inc. | Atlanta | Chicago | Dallas | New York | San Francisco | Scottsdale | U.K. | 1.866.620.3780 1
  • 2. REPORT | February 2006SEARCH BOWL 2006: AN ANALYSIS OF OFFLINE AND ONLINE BRAND IMPACT Category Advertisers Score Back of the Pack Pepsi Unilever Bayer MasterCard McDonald’s Procter & Gamble Pizza Hut Warner Bros. SEARCH BOWL HIGHLIGHTS WINNERS Sprint (score: 8) lived up to its name, going deep and edging out the competition. The nation’s number three wireless carrier rang up an 8, scoring high rankings for the expected product- and service-related branded terms but also for key phrases as “Sprint NFL commercial” and “Sprint television commercial,” demonstrating that when interested customers came calling, Sprint was ready. And, it’s worth noting that the company achieved these results without displaying its URL anywhere in either of the two ads it broadcast. Even winners have something to think about for next year. FedEx (score: 7) also delivered the goods, finishing a close second to Sprint. Although the package delivery specialist went prehistoric in its TV commercial, it was anything but behind the times when optimizing for the web, scoring on the first page of results for the generic phrases “Shipping,” “Super Bowl TV ads,” and “Super Bowl TV commercial,” even “FedEx TV Commercial” and dominating every instance of its brand name with 23 brand related terms achieving first page rankings. Just as delivery by dinosaur has room for improvement so does FedEx’s modern day search visibility – there was no visibility around creative specific terms such as “caveman commercial,” “dinosaur commercial”, or the broad phrase “Super Bowl Commercial.” Toyota (score: 6) showed it was ready to get a lot of mileage from its Camry hybrid commercial. The automaker was highly visible for brand- and model-specific terms as well as for an extensive list of more generic terms such as “hybrid electric car,” “hybrid electric vehicle,” “hybrid electric,” “gas electric hybrid car,” “hybrid gasoline electric,” “hybrid gas electric,” “electric hev hybrid vehicle,” “electric hybrid motor,” “hybrid electric gas vehicle” and “electric and hybrid vehicle today,” proving that Toyota was well prepared to meet the interest of its target customers. Still, the car manufacturer could have done more: it was not at all visible for “Invincible Tacoma,” the tagline for its truck commercial and did little to optimize or purchase keywords around generic Super Bowl commercial terms. Ameriquest (score:6) and Nationwide (score: 6) both took steps to ensure they were found for branded terms, taglines from their TV commercials and even generic industry keywords like “insurance” and “mortgage” – an indication of highly effective natural search optimization. However, proving that it is never too late to change your policy, the companies could have taken out added insurance by guaranteeing visibility for creative-specific terms (such as “airplane commercial” for Ameriquest and “Fabio commercial” in the case of Nationwide) as well as generic Super Bowl commercial terms. Of course, the winner’s circle would not be complete without (score: 6). Not only did the domain registrar’s ad once again prove controversial, but it also harnessed the company’s creative notoriety both in the commercial and on the web. GoDaddy was highly visible for “godaddy girl” and “go daddy girl” and was one of the most effective at optimizing generic Super Bowl commercial terms such as “Super Bowl commercial,” “Super Bowl commercial download,” “Super Bowl advertisement” and “Super Bowl ad.” Debate may continue to rage about the tastefulness of GoDaddy’s TV commercials, but there is no denying that the company was prepared to make the most of the controversy. (C) Copyright 2007. iCrossing, Inc. | Atlanta | Chicago | Dallas | New York | San Francisco | Scottsdale | U.K. | 1.866.620.3780 2
  • 3. REPORT | February 2006SEARCH BOWL 2006: AN ANALYSIS OF OFFLINE AND ONLINE BRAND IMPACT The winners reached the end zone for a reason: they optimized their websites for not only brand-specific terms and phrases but also keywords and taglines from their Super Bowl commercials in addition to generic Super Bowl commercial terms, supplementing this advanced planning with paid placement on the leading search engines. The key to winning the Search Bowl is analyzing how consumers interested by the TV spots might conduct their searches and then taking the appropriate steps with natural and paid search ahead of game day to ensure that consumers are channeled to your site and not your competitor’s. CONTENDERS CareerBuilder (score: 5) didn’t exactly monkey around with its popular animal-themed commercials, although its success did not exactly ape that of the winner. The jobs website gained good visibility for “work with a bunch of monkeys” and “bunch of monkeys commercial” and “career builder monkey” (the latter two making effective use of paid search), while failing to achieve any visibility for the more heavily searched term “monkey commercial.” CareerBuilder likewise overlooked some of its taglines and generic Super Bowl commercial terms. Car builders Ford (score: 5), GM/Cadillac (score: 4) and Honda (score: 4) all revved up for the big game, but lost some traction with viewers by neglecting to ensure visibility for key terms around their commercials. For example, Ford, whose ad featured Kermit the Frog talking about the company’s Escape hybrid SUV, prepared for searches for “Kermit the Frog,” “Kermit commercial” and “Kermit the Frog commercial,” a plus for the automaker. However, Ford spun its wheels when it came to preparing for generic hybrid vehicle terms (such as “hybrid car” and “hybrid car commercial”), a road owned by rival Toyota. The contenders achieved good online visibility from their Super Bowl ads, but they should increase their efforts if they want to get farther downfield in 2007. Fidelity Investments (score: 5) did an excellent job gaining visibility for its contact phone number and its “Never Stop Doing What You Love” tagline, but stumbled with the “Smart Move” tagline that appears at the end of the commercial and which generated far more search traffic. GM’s Cadillac luxury division, literally the belle of the ball, did well by linking its Escalade commercial to the term “sexy car” and buying keywords around this, although it could have gotten more mileage from the ad by achieving higher visibility for model-specific terms. All of the contenders lost out by not being visible for generic Super Bowl terms – something to put on the training regimen for next year. BACK OF THE PACK Coca-Cola (score: 3) fizzled out with its Vault soda and Full Throttle Energy drink commercials. While the latter showed a lot of on-screen muscle, Coca-Cola proved anything but manly online by only getting half the job done. While they did optimize and buy keywords related to its brand name “full throttle energy drink” and “full throttle,” they failed to optimize or buy keywords around the ad’s tagline or more generic terms like “energy drink.” In addition, they couldn’t even attempt a pull-up when it came to the generic phrases “Super Bowl TV ads” and “Super Bowl TV commercial.” The soft drink manufacturer dropped the ball on a major opportunity to capitalize on interest in its new beverage offerings. Bayer (score: 2), whose Aleve commercial featured an arthritic Leonard Nimoy unable to give his signature Vulcan salute until he downed some Aleve, proved to be more of a headache than a pain reliever for the pharmaceutical giant. The TV spot may have hit a nerve, especially among older viewers, but the company did not tie its search marketing to the creative content of the ad. Warner Bros. (score: 2) aired trailers for four high-profile upcoming films (16 Blocks, Firewall, Poseidon and V for Vendetta), but was all but invisible online. The studio did a fair job preparing for searches for “V for Vendetta.” On the other hand, it fumbled badly with “Firewall,” which recorded a high volume of searches for the title and for its star, Harrison Ford, neither of which carried any visibility for Warner Bros. (C) Copyright 2007. iCrossing, Inc. | Atlanta | Chicago | Dallas | New York | San Francisco | Scottsdale | U.K. | 1.866.620.3780 3
  • 4. REPORT | February 2006SEARCH BOWL 2006: AN ANALYSIS OF OFFLINE AND ONLINE BRAND IMPACT Over 50% of Super Bowl advertisers finished at the back of the pack in RDM’s Search Bowl rankings, including iconic brands like Budweiser, Burger King, Pepsi, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Procter & Gamble (Gillette). The fault lies not with their ads themselves, which both entertained and piqued the interest of viewers. Rather, it lies with the assumption that creative, entertaining TV commercials alone will carry the day. That creativity must be tied to the web. If Pizza Hut runs another commercial featuring Jessica Simpson in a starring role, it should make sure to optimize around terms such as “Jessica Simpson commercial” and run paid media alongside (neither of which it did this year) to maximize the traffic it channels to its website. For Pizza Hut and other brands that finished at the back of the pack, doing otherwise with their Super Bowl commercials is a lateral move at best, and may even result in a loss of yardage. PREPARING FOR NEXT YEAR Brand advertisers must face facts: Super Bowl ads have become a form of entertainment every much the equal of the game itself, and they attract viewers with little or no interest in football who might turn their attention elsewhere on game day. This year, by distributing the commercials across a range of channels both during and after the game, Super Bowl marketers showed that they understood the opportunity to connect (and reconnect) with interested consumers. It’s a good bet that the best commercials were replayed more often and by more people than the game highlights themselves. The ads will live on for consumers to enjoy, watch and exchange across multiple media platforms and devices. DON’T FUMBLE THE BALL BY LETTING THAT EXPENSIVE CREATIVITY GO TO WASTE Super Bowl ad buys begin months in advance of the big game. This gives advertisers the opportunity to understand how their target audience thinks about their brands. Bearing in mind that how consumers search is a reflection of how they think, advertisers should begin synchronizing their creative and search marketing strategies right from the start so they can maximize their returns from the exposure both during and after the game. ENDNOTES Smart advertisers will make selecting a broad set of keywords an integral part of conceiving and producing their TV spots. They can then test visibility results for creative-specific keywords and phrases, thereby defining a roadmap for optimization targets and avenues for targeting competitors. In the meantime, advertisers can get ahead of the game by building Super Bowl commercial content for past advertisements today in order to start raising their visibility for generic Super Bowl commercial terms. This kind of offline-to-online synergy is a key for advertisers who want to be doing their own dance in the media end zone. CONTACT For more information on this report, please contact us at For information regarding our market research services, please call 1.866.620.3780 or contact us at ABOUT ICROSSING iCrossing is a different kind of digital marketing agency committed to people’s desire to find. The company develops online campaigns, programs and experiences designed to help people find what they are searching for. Through a proven combination of talent and technology, iCrossing helps its global client base – including 32 Fortune 500 companies such as The Coca-Cola Company – find solutions for complex digital marketing challenges. Founded in 1998, the company has 350 employees worldwide. iCrossing is headquartered in Scottsdale with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco and Brighton, U.K. Find out more at (C) Copyright 2007. iCrossing, Inc. | Atlanta | Chicago | Dallas | New York | San Francisco | Scottsdale | U.K. | 1.866.620.3780 4