The Search for Creativity

“Google It” is a generic turn of phrase for most of us. We use search to find out where we are going, what the weather‘s like, what‘s happening in the news and what did that actor appear in again?

To some in our industry, PPC seems neither the most creative space nor a ‘fun’ discipline. But every now and again you see an example of people using search in ingenious ways to bring attention to their own cause or product.

One of my favourite examples of creativity in PPC is from the summer of 2009, when then senior copywriter Alec Brownstein decided he wanted a new job. He targeted five creative directors and bid on their names on Google AdWords. He wrote a little ad that said “Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun too.” Brownstein insight was that the route to those creative directors was through themselves. He was right!

Four out of the five directors targeted gave him an interview. Two of those four offered him a job. The best part is that it cost him a grand total of $6!

Another great example is from Snickers. For their “you’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign they bought the AdWords on common misspellings. Within two days Snickers reported 558,589 ad impressions. With a click-through rate of 1.05%, 5,874 visitors made their way to the campaign’s mini website

A more recent example is from Samsung who hijacked the search results for the new iPhone6s.


No immediate results are available yet, but it’s a witty example of topical, contextual advertising.

What these examples show is that PPC and Search is a space brimming with creative potential.

We have the capacity and the opportunity to be creative – whatever the platform.


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