Super Bowl Advertiser Search Marketing Blunders


Posted by Dan Malachowski, Product Marketing Manager (Search and Performance Media)

The large majority of Super Bowl advertisers came through in supporting their $3 million dollar ads by making sure their brand was present in paid and natural search after their commercials ran.  They ensured they were covered in search for people querying their brand, the particular product line advertised, and even the tag lines of their campaigns (such as “don’t be an asterisk” or “refresh everything”).  But what about the people in their ads? Like Pepsuber or David Abernathy?  In these cases, searchers were left in the dark.

Who is David Abernathy?

After seeing the Cars.com ad featuring the very confident David Abernathy, I wondered exactly who this guy was.  So I went to Google for answers.  So did everyone else.  Here’s a screenshot of the top searches on Google at the end of the 3rd Quarter from Google Trends:



Google-trends-end-3rd 

Here’s a screenshot of a search for “David Abernathy” at that same time:

Cars.com-david abernathy 

I’m pretty sure David Abernathy is not Ralph Abernathy, the civil rights activist.  Maybe he’s a Florida real estate agent?  I have no idea and neither did anyone searching Google during the Super Bowl.  A paid search campaign developing David Abernathy's persona would have been a perfect fit for Cars.com and the search demand they created.

MacGruber Sells Out

MacGruber may have completely sold out by changing his name to Pepsuber.  But when it comes to paid search advertising, that’s where he draws the line.

Here’s a screenshot of the top searches on Google Trends an hour after the game ended:

Google-trends-1000 CST 

And here’s a search for “Pepsuber” at that same time, with no paid or natural results from Pepsi:

Pepsi- pepsuber 

Sorry Pepsuber, but if Google’s not even sure of your name (did you mean “pep suber”), it’s probably not going to stick.  Even though there are non-Pepsi natural results leading to the commercial, Pepsi could have made it easier for searchers by naturally optimizing a Pepsuber page or running a paid search campaign.


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