I’m sure if you watch more than 6 hours of television per week you’ve seen the Pontaic ad (see the ad here) which instructs viewers to go to Google and then search for them using “Pontiac” as the search word. I know, for some this is very old news – but for others, it’s not.
My purpose in writing this is to give my thoughts as to several things that they are doing wrong here – and I think it’s important.
For background you can read the January 26 “TV Commercial “Googles” Pontiac” article on SearchEngineWatch.com. There is quite a bit of talk now amongst SEO’s regarding Google, its study of user behavior and the current and future use of the user behavior data. Is Pontiac hip to this? Are they trying start building the user behavior data profile in Google? Or, is this just some ad agency means to cause a buzz – which they did do.
Bottom line though – in my opinion, any time you ask someone to do something different, out of the norm, and you ad an extra step to their means to an end situation, you should give them something.
Pontiac screwed up. They are not baiting the viewers with a coupon for $250 off a vehicle, $100 off of service, a different version of the website based on the referrer – SOME OTHER EXPERIENCE from what you get by going to Pontiac.com directly!
At minimum they should understand the regional data and forward visitors to regional stores for somewhat more of a local sell.
In addition, why not have people search for specific models, not Pontiac in general? Or why not have them search for cars and find you – make it a game. But increase your user behavior search relevancy on the general term car – or best car. What if any valuable data can you retrieve from having someone search for something as generic as your brand other than simple geographical response data – who’s watching tv, when and where?
Where’s the real call to action – TO BUY CARS? The call to action is to search on us on Google? That’s an ad agency for you….
The downside after talking to a good friend of mine, who in fact is very revered, in the auto industry is that they are training their buyers to do something outside the norm already trained response. They are also exposing theses eyeballs, valuable eyeballs, to competitors and anyone else who wants to bid on a Google ad.
So Pontiac – whoever dreamed of this one – their advice did cause buzz – which I suppose is good because I would have personally never written about you but think about it here – consider the entire advertising track. You’ve got step one down – now work your back-end systems to provide people with something unique or some value-added bonus for following your commands.
BTW – Did you know that the Pontiac site doesn’t even work if you are using Firefox and have JavasSript disabled? Oops… How much is that costing their conversion? Browser testing I suppose MUST be another talked about subject because people are just not understanding the lowest common denominator thing anymore. Pity.
John J Kirker
CTMO – Chief Technology Marketing Officer