Google Adwords and other major pay-per-click providers have a tool called dynamic keywords. It lets you place a variable in your ad, so that the search phrase entered shows up in the ad.
Unfortunately it’s become a tool for lazy PPC marketers, leading to ads like this:
Please, if you must use dynamic keywords in your ads, at least think it through first. I like my children just fine – I don’t need to buy another one on Amazon or at Target. Honest.
There’s a serious side to this, too: It’s trademark infringement to use a brand name in an ad without permission. If you create an ad and buy a keyword for a competitor, that’s fine. But if you use dynamic keywords in the ad, then your competitor’s name will show up, too. So this:
Buy great signs and Portents
On the Interwebs. Free shipping!
Could become this, if you bought ‘nike’ as a keyword:
By great signs and Portents
On the Interwebs. Free Shipping!
You do not want Nike’s lawyers on your doorstep.
PS: If you have any other great instances of dynamic ads gone wrong, let me know. I’ll post ’em.
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