SEO Headlines 02/13/2008

Marketers Experiment With Lickable Ads

No, that’s not a Lisa typo. The Wall Street Journal reports the ridiculous news that some companies are experimenting with lickable ads. As in print ads, in magazines, that people are encouraged to lick, with their tongue. I know!

Welch’s and CBS are among two brands who apparently think it’s not at all disgusting to have people put their tongues on unsanitary objects. In fact, Welch’s will be running a full-page ad in People shortly encouraging readers to remove a peel up strip and then lick the back of it. So many cooties.

I suppose it’s a way to stand out but it’s also a way to establish your brand as totally disgusting and silly. It’s also a great way to spread germs and gremlins. And what if there’s some weird paper/tongue/chemical reaction and your "sample" ends up tasting completely gross? That’s not going to be good for business. I’m not sure this is the marketing strategy I’d be taking if I was Welch’s. This isn’t innovative; it’s dumb. Find an advertising hook that’s going to get people’s attention. Go the scratch-and-sniff route if you want, that would probably be far more successful. The funny thing is that Welch’s seems to know that most people will be turned off by the thought of rubbing their tongue on strange surfaces. Seriously, the Marketing Executive of Welch’s Chris Heye told WSJ that he suspects there will be a lot of people unwilling to lick a magazine no matter how good it tastes. So why run it? There’s viral and then there’s disgusting.

Are Display Ad Clicks Worthless?

ReadWriteWeb commented on a recent study by comScore, Starcom Media, and Tacoda that found that 6 percent of people online are contributing to 50 percent of the clicks going to display advertisements, namely the male 25 to 44 years old, earning less than $40,000 a year crowd. Mmm, poverty. Even better is that, according to the study and my own experience being in this demographic, these folks aren’t likely to (a) buy anything or (b) establish brand loyalty after all this ad clicking. Sweet!

Actually, this is probably information most of us already knew. And just because it’s a certain demographic doing the clicking and not buying anything, doesn’t mean display advertising is completely useless. Display advertising is still very useful for reinforcing your brand, even though the study wants to claim otherwise. Ultimately, search marketers have to stop looking at clicks as any sort of measurement tool. You can’t mathematically calculate the effect of seeing a Tiffany’s ad alongside your search for [valentines day gifts]. Just because someone didn’t click through in the moment doesn’t mean they didn’t visit the site later on and it doesn’t mean that it didn’t cause a light bulb in their head to go off, forever associating Tiffany’s with Valentines’ Day. That kind of advertising has value and it’s not measured by clicks. Don’t go abandoning your ads just yet, folks.

Find Your Indexing Timestamp

Tamar Weinberg talks about an interesting find from Google Operating System which tells you how you can find the date a page was indexed by adding extra parameters to your query string. Basically adding the extra parameters will restrict the search to a specific time frame and give you your indexing date stamp.

GOS explains:

"For example, if you append &as_qdr=y9 to Google’s search URL, you’ll restrict the results to web pages first indexed by Google in the last 9 years. Since this restriction should include all web pages from Google’s index, you can use it to display the timestamp next to each search result (e.g.: a search for iPod)."

Alex explains in the comments that if you use the site: operator without any keyword, Google shows the last indexing date. For all other queries, you’ll see the date when the page was first indexed. A neat little trick.

Fun Finds

Jennifer Slegg offered up Eleven Steps to Creating a Killer 404 Page.

Skellie tells us How to Write Posts That Set StumbleUpon on Fire. I heart her.

If you’re not sure how to spice up your Valentine’s Day night tomorrow, why not take your beloved to White Castle? They’re accepting reservations. I’m serious.

Lisa Barone is a writer, content marketer & VP of strategy at Overit Media. She's also a very active Twitterer, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

See Lisa's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (5)
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5 Replies to “SEO Headlines 02/13/2008”

I guess advertising has finally gone to the dogs. What next?

As the president of First Flavor, the company bringing this Peel ‘n Taste product to market, there is a major correction to the WSJ article: This is not about Lickable Ads. Welch’s used the term ‘lick’ in their ad and no one seems to have bothered to read the fine print.
Our product, which can be attached to a print ad and peeled off, is a sealed tamper evident foil pouch containing a piece of edible film. (Similar to popular breath strips.) One peels opens the pouch and places the piece of edible film on your tongue. The edible film dissolves quickly leaving you with a burst of flavor. No licking involved!
The point that was really missed was that finally consumers now have a way of trying the taste of a product before they buy it. We call it taking a product for a ‘Taste Drive’!

my own experience being in this demographic

So you have experience being in the “male 25 to 44 years old, earning less than $40,000 a year” demographic? Interesting…

Eew. Now there are some magazines I won’t be picking up at the dentist’s office…

I’m not sure whether I really want to thank you for that!


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