Buy A Wife At Target

Ian Lurie Oct 5 2007

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:


And 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:

{keyword:portent} Online

Buy great signs and Portents

On the Interwebs. Free shipping!

Could become this, if you bought ‘nike’ as a keyword:

Nike Online

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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tags : conversation marketing


  1. Adam


    It’s like where eBay appear for everything!

  2. Matt


    But what if they are having a blue light special?? :-D

  3. I know lots of guys that get their wives at Target. Primarily due to the 30 day money back guarantee and the liberal exchange policy.
    Linda must have still been sleeping when she wrote this. ;-)

  4. Oh.. my god… i have also used {keyword: things in my adwords campaigns, thanx for such a nice post, now will check every possibilities of keywords

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