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Jan 4, 2009 | Comments
  1. Go to google.com, search for GOOG (GOOG is Google’s stock ticker; querying it in Google returns its stock price).
  2. Observe the search advertisement in the right column.

The ad is from woot.com, and bloggers label it “offensive” and “genius.” Prior campaigns used copy referencing Google’s drop in stock price–rather clever.

But this ad is brilliant because of the channel. Traditional paid search encourages Woot to buy words such as “discount” or “deal,” not “GOOG.” Yet Woot understood exactly how its users behave and pushed their message on relevant, targeted real estate.

Woot.com is a deal-of-the-day website, where one product is sold each day at a deep discount. Thousands of users idle on woot.com everyday, waiting for new products to refresh.

Who are Woot’s best customers? People on their computer 8 hours/day, obsessing over updates and clicking refresh on woot.com >20x. This is a niche consumer–how could Woot possibly target this profile?

Perhaps I’m giving woot.com too much credit, but anyone who types “GOOG” into Google (i.e., check stock prices via a search engine) is definitely an obsessive individual who has plenty idle time–the perfect Woot user!

I’m not praising paid search, but commending the use of a relevant channel that exactly mirrors Woot’s ideal customer behavior.  No need for brands to use Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs, etc. if their customers are not there. If you’re an old-world brand, even a newspaper ad might be far more effective than a barrage of digital marketing.


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