competitor keywords
competitor keywords

We’ve all seen it by now. You’re searching for Steve Madden boots or your favorite restaurant, and not only are you given choices in the main search results — you also get several ads that are associated with what you’re looking for.

Many times those ads directly relate to your search, but every now and then, you may notice an ad that doesn’t match up.

Is this an accident or a competitor’s strategic advertising ploy? It could be either, but search advertisers often bid on their competitor’s names in hopes that someone will click on their ad instead. They also look at this as a way drive brand recognition since people may start to associate their search with the competitor’s name.

Great idea, right? Well, actually no.

For starters, most people who search for something want to get results for that exact brand or product. They usually won’t click on a link for something different.

As a result, your search campaign will have a very low click through rate and Google (or other search engines) will flag your ad as being irrelevant to the terms you’re buying. Upon this realization, the search engine will require that you bid more and more on these terms.

In addition to lower click through rates and higher costs, keep a couple of other things in mind as well.

If you start bidding on a competitor’s keywords, who’s to say that they won’t start buying yours? At that point, both advertisers would essentially be wasting money to run ads that cancel each other out.

Finally, there are potential trademark issues. For example, you can currently legally bid on a competitor’s brand term, but in most cases you can’t include a competitor’s name in your ad text. To further complicate the matter, these rules vary from country to country. So, if you’re an advertiser in the U.S. and you’re conducting a search campaign targeting Europe, you need to study these rules very carefully.

Although it can seem like a savvy strategy at first, bidding on your competitor’s brand could be far more damaging than beneficial in the long run.

#GoMobile
GoMobile

Let me ask you a question: Where are you reading this?

Chances are, you’re on your desktop computer, and by desktop, I’m including laptops. What about a tablet? Okay, maybe. But mobile phone? Not likely. It’s not that people don’t use mobile devices for entertainment and social purposes. It’s that they’re more likely to use their mobile phones to take action. Find a restaurant. Get directions. Make a phone call. So the fact that you’re probably on a desktop says more about where you are than who you are.

This is a fundamental shift in thinking for those of us in the business of marketing and communications. When it comes to the mobile space, the most important consideration is no longer demographic, it’s geographic.

That’s just a taste of some of the yummy tidbits we feasted on at the Mobilizing Mobile event put on by Google the other night here in Mobile, AL. The event featured Jason Spero, Director of Mobile at Google, and Edward Boches, Chief Innovation Officer at Mullen.

The main takeaway for agencies and their clients is that we must stop treating mobile websites like the kid brother who wants to tag along with big brother desktop website and his buddies, TV and Print. The mobile web is its own thing and needs its own strategy and implementation.

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London 2012 is Over. Which Brands Won?
London 2012 is Over. Which Brands Won?

Team Great Britain, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Gabby Douglas and countless others won athletic gold in London, but which brands came out on top during these games?

The Peacock
In the U.S., NBC’s brand saw mixed results with soaring ratings delivering a huge and positive impact to their bottom line. Unfortunately, the hashtag #NBCFail was ubiquitous during the games and reached a crescendo last night as Bob Costas pulled the ultimate bait-and-switch promoting an appearance by The Who, but only after a pilot for a new sit-com. NBC pays billions of dollars to have the U.S. broadcast rights for the Olympics, and must make hard decisions about how to recoup that investment. It is still hard to see how going out of your way to aggravate your viewers is a winning long-term strategy.

The Swoosh
Although Nike wasn’t an official Olympic sponsor, they almost don’t need to be. The swoosh logo was shown on screen thousands of times on athletes’ shoes and apparel. Their guerilla marketing campaign “Find Your Greatness” was brilliant in both strategy and execution by featuring everyday men, women and children finding greatness on a less-than Olympic stage, but still in a town called London.

The Ultimate Branding Machine
One of the less-heralded Olympic partners was BMW Group who found smart and relevant ways to keep their brands and their cars top-of-mind. In addition to TV spots touting their sponsorship, BMW riffed on Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket by driving a Golden Bimmer around London giving free tickets to those who shared photos of themselves with the car. During the closing ceremonies, Jesse J and two other singers were transported into and around Olympic stadium in three Rolls-Royce Phantoms specially built and badged for the event. BMW’s Mini joined in the competition with remote-controlled Mini’s carrying javelins back to athletes finding a way onto hallowed athletic ground that is supposedly free of commercial clutter.

Proctor & Gamble, Omega Watches and several other official and not-so-official sponsors of the games were highly visible with TV spots, online video, and social media memes. The brands mentioned above stood out most to me during these games, but branding is seen through the eye of the beholder.

Which brands grabbed your attention and won Gold in London?

20 Big Wins At Healthcare Marketing Awards
20 Big Wins At Healthcare Marketing Awards

At Lewis, we go to great pains to remind people that we’re not a “healthcare agency.” After all, we work with RV manufacturers, insurance companies, energy utilities and other businesses, and we’ve won awards in every one of those categories.

But at the same time, we are especially proud each year when the Healthcare Marketing Awards roll around.

We like healthcare.

It’s consumer branding. It’s an expensive, important decision in people’s lives. It’s research-driven and yet highly emotional in its execution.

We find like-minded souls at the helm of many of the nation’s top teaching hospitals. They value research, as we do. They have substantive, real product differences that consumers deserve to know about. And creative skills we tend to be good at, like storytelling and craftsmanship, make us a good fit for the category.

Nearly 4,000 entries were received in this year’s competition–and Lewis walked away with 20 major awards, including one Best of Show.

This is on the heels of the nation’s other significant healthcare marketing competition, the Aster Awards, where Lewis also won a Best of Show and other honors.

We work hard at this stuff. So, it’s gratifying when the industry notices. I’m proud of our teams in all three Lewis offices for such a great showing.

You’ll find the complete list of wins below.

 


 

2011 HEALTHCARE MARKETING AWARDS

BEST OF SHOW – Newspaper Advertising
Memorial Health
Savannah, GA
Beach/High School Football/Field Trips

GOLD
Logo/Letterhead
Louisiana State University Health System
LSU Corporate Identity

GOLD
Magazine Series
Medical University South Carolina Medical Center
Fisherman/Girl in Car/Grandpa & Grandson

GOLD
Outdoor
Memorial Health
Heroes/Cancer/Preemies

GOLD
Television Series
Memorial Health
Midnight/Hello Summer/Chances

GOLD
Newspaper Series
Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

GOLD
Special Video
Stony Brook University Fundraising Video

GOLD
Employee Communication Program
University of Virginia Health System
UVA EMR Campaign

GOLD
Newspaper Series
Vanderbilt Health Primary Care & Walk-In Clinics
Family Doctor/Fever/Check Up

SILVER
Television Series
Medical University South Carolina Medical Center
Distance/Independence/News

SILVER
Newspaper Series
Memorial Health
Beach/High School Football/Field Trips

SILVER
Television Single
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
Money

SILVER
Radio Series
Stony Brook University Medical Center
Remember/Different/The Choice

SILVER
Special Event
University Healthcare Consortium
Poster/Microsite/Brochure/Video

SILVER
Special Video
Upstate University Health System
Cancer Video

SILVER
Total Advertising with TV
Wake Forest Baptist Health
Knowlege Campaign

BRONZE
Newspaper Series
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
This Isn’t

BRONZE
Radio Series
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
McPherson/Pietenpol/Thompson

BRONZE
Total Advertising with TV
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Branding Campaign

MERIT
New Media
University of Virginia Health System
UVA Holiday Greeting

 

2011 ASTER AWARDS

BEST OF SHOW – Total Advertising Campaign
University of Virginia Health System — Charlottesville, VA

Award: Best of Show
Entry Name: UVA EMR Campaign
Category: Total Advertising Campaigns

Medical University of South Carolina — Charleston, SC
Award: Gold
Entry Name: 2010 Magazine Series
Category: Magazine Publication – Series

Medical University of South Carolina — Charleston, SC
Award: Silver
Entry Name: 2010 Total Ad Series
Category: Total Advertising Campaigns

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt — Nashville, TN
Award: Gold
Entry Name: Newspaper Series
Category: Newspaper Advertising – Series

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital — Stony Brook, NY
Award: Gold
Entry Name: Development Ad ’Sandbox’
Category: Newspaper Advertising – Single

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital — Stony Brook, NY
Award: Silver
Entry Name: Stony Brook Children’s Logo
Category: Logo Design/Letterhead

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital — Stony Brook, NY
Award: Silver
Entry Name: Fundraising Video
Category: Other/Misc

University of Virginia Health System — Charlottesville, VA
Award: Bronze
Entry Name: UVA Beyond Surgery
Category: Service Line – Surgical Services

University of Virginia Health System — Charlottesville, VA
Award: Gold
Entry Name: UVA Branding Campaign – Spine
Category: Service Line – Orthopedic Services

University of Virginia Health System — Charlottesville, VA
Award: Silver
Entry Name: UVA Branding Campaign – Pediatrics
Category: Service Line – Children’s

Vanderbilt University Medical Center — Nashville, TN
Award: Gold
Entry Name: 2010 Magazine Series
Category: Magazine Publication – Series

Vanderbilt University Medical Center — Nashville, TN
Award: Silver
Entry Name: Anthem :60 TV
Category: TV/Video Advertising – Single

 

01

According to communications research company IDC (IDC.com), Internet usage in December 1996 was limited to only 36 million people, or 0.9% of world population. By June 2009, Internet World Stats measured nearly 1.7 billion Internet users worldwide, accounting for 24.7% of the global population.

For those of us in the marketing and communications industry, the difference between 1996 and 2009 is huge. Although the essence of what we do is unchanged in many ways, it has been like learning a new language as we work to tap into the vast potential of an always on and available online home for our clients’ brands, messaging and promotions.

And now, although Facebook and Twitter have been around since 2004 and 2006 respectively, these new web-based communications channels are again revolutionizing how virtually anyone with a message communicates with an audience.

But, it feels different this time.

The Great Recession of the last two years has really changed attitudes very quickly. Some of the same clients who even last year weren’t interested in a Google search campaign are now very open to new strategies that involve dialogue and engagement through social networking.

So although all of us will be glad when the recession is over and sustained economic growth returns, the pain of a downturn will not have completely been in vain. The quick leap of advancement being made in marketing and communications practices will be good for our industry and good for our clients. And I’m convinced these advancements would have taken a great many years, if not for the financial pressures of the current recession.

Viva la Revolución!

01
01
Beer and Beef Jerky: The Intern's View
Beer and Beef Jerky: The Intern's View

As we’re watching some video footage about a fancy medical procedure for a client one Thursday afternoon, one of the creative guys asks if we want anything to drink. Assuming he would be coming back with a Coke, I said no thank you. When he came back from the fridge with Yuenglings, however, I knew I was going to like it here.

I’ve been an intern at Lewis for about a week now, and I see this culture is about more than the stockpile of beer and beef jerky in the fridge. And I see advertising is about more than making cool posters. I’m not sure what I expected agency life to be like, but this definitely isn’t it. I think I imagined people being bossy and on-edge all the time, and I think I imagined every meeting and conference call being a calculated battle. This imaginary office I built in my head couldn’t be farther from the truth, at least in Lewis’s case anyway.

People wear skinny jeans, colorful scarves and hip glasses, and they make me feel cooler just by being around them. Every cubicle is decorated with cool artwork and/or pictures of adorable children. As much of an oxymoron as it may seem, the thing I’ve found most odd about the agency is how normal every interaction and meeting is. The way people communicate with one another and with clients is just so relaxed, so easy, so normal.

This simple, understandable communication style each member of the Lewis team seems to possess is the reason I have already learned so much. Just in the few days I’ve spent following people around here, I’ve realized how complex, compelling and fun the advertising industry can be.

Caroline is a summer account service intern. She graduated from the University of Alabama in May, and she will be continuing her education at the University of Missouri in the fall. Follow her @carolineemurray.