If the Samsung PPC Ad is Great, Then is This PPC Ad the Worst?

By now, many of you have seen or heard about the brilliant PPC ad placed by Samsung. If not, here is a refresher.

Search for iPhone 6s on Google, and you may see an ad like this:

iPhone 6S Samsung Ad

Screenshot found at Blueclaw Search 

Note: I was not able to find this ad while searching today, so I can not confirm that this ad is still running.

This ad is truly brilliant. It takes full advantage of all of the real estate Google provides advertisers. And it turns a brand search for Apple into an opportunity to showcase what makes a Samsung model better. While these ads usually only deflect a small percentage of clicks, it is a clever way to get noticed.

Even more brilliant is that they are able to advertise on the iPhone brand without even mentioning the competitor by name. No lawyers to get in the way, and really no hurt feelings. Just a solid use of the format and understanding of the rules.

If that ad is brilliant, then the following ad has to be the worst

While building out our online course that teaches Google AdWords, I did my fair share of searches. Many of my searches are navigational, using the Chrome omnibar to find things of interest. I searched “AdWords Editor” in order to find a download link for the excellent desktop editing tool.

That’s when I noticed this ad.

Don t use AdWords Editor Ad

Interesting perspective. This company, ppcpath.com, is advocating that you don’t use AdWords Editor. Keep in mind that AdWords Editor is a FREE tool provided by Google to all advertisers and is complimentary to most products in the market.

This is terrible advice. Why?

Because great search marketers use Google AdWords Editor on a daily basis to manage and improve their AdWords accounts.

Because there are questions on the Google AdWords certification exam that require you to have used AdWords Editor.

AdWords Editor is such a vital tool for managing campaigns that it was a question we asked in every job interview. It is that important.

To put it lightly, the writers of this ad can go f*** themselves.

Why are you so mad, Jeff? It’s just an ad!

I am mad because that ad promises false hope.

I am mad because the ad is arrogant.

I am mad that this company is telling you not to use a paid service in lieu of a free tool.

I am mad because I took too long to write this post, and now this company has gone out of business.

PPC Path Out of Business

I am mad because I started writing this post without knowing this company was out of business, and now I just look like an asshole.

Telling you not to use Google AdWords editor is just downright irresponsible.

Google AdWords editor is awesome. 

Did you find any other ads in your research?

I thought you would never ask!

Here are some fun ads I have noticed in the past few days while researching.

The first is an ad saying that the iPhone 6 is coming soon. This was found May 5, 2015.

iPhone 6 Coming Soon

The iPhone 6 was released in September of 2014.

Someone at U.S. Cellular has been lighting money on fire for over 6 months!

Smart competitive claims

I noticed this one while trying to find a link to Unbounce to share with students. It seems like their competitors are calling them out directly (although with an intentional misspelling).

Instapage Competitive Ad

This company definitely has a lower priced product than Unbounce, but money isn’t everything. I would use OptimizePress over Instapage any day.

Dumb competitive claims

Smart ads aren’t really that much fun to critique. All you can say are words like “Smart” or “Brilliant” or “stone cold stunnin’” or other terms that the cool kids used to say 10 years ago when I was pop culture relevant.

Dumb ads are much more fun. Here are some dumb competitive claims.

Direct Competitive Ad

I was searching for PPC Agency and this crap ad came up. Why is this dumb? Because you named a competitor directly in the ad when you didn’t have to. Guess who I am going to check out now? Whiteshark!

Here’s another claim that I don’t really like.

Don't Sign Up for AdWords

Don’t sign up for AdWords? I get that you finish your claim in the second sentence, but you’ve already lost me.

Clever competitive ads

I figured that PPC management tools would be in fierce competition, so I looked for brand searches for SEMRush, SpyFu and Wordstream.

SpyFu is the only PPC tool that I saw running ads for competitors. Here they are showing a competitive ad vs. SEMRush:

SpyFu Ads on SEMRush

Solid points of contention (we have more data) and the use of official is a good tactic since it is not claiming to be officially related to SEMRush.

The Wordstream competitive ad is also worth noting, because it uses a variation on the Wordstream name, without using a trademark.

SpyFu Capitalizing on WordStream

Some good PPC Agency ads

Last, I wanted to show these ads that I thought were high quality representations from PPC Agencies.

The first is claiming to be an AdWords Rain Maker. For whatever reason, I am drawn to this one to see what it’s all about.

AdWords Rainmaker Ad

Then there are other PPC agencies, with claims about being agency of the year and having worked for Google.

PPC Agency

While CPCs are expensive for these keywords space, I am sure these companies are showing up here for both branding purposes as well as drawing in potential business. When in doubt, be entertaining. Whether its profitable or not is another story.

Do you have any examples of Good or Bad PPC ads?

I really enjoy seeing the creative ways that advertisers showcase their talents through PPC ads. We don’t have a lot of space available, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make bold claims (or embarrass yourself).

Do you have any examples of favorite ads that you have seen on AdWords?

Any ads that really made you mad?

Let me know in the comments!

About the Author

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of a suitcase somewhere in the world. Formerly of Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA.

  • Hey Jeff!!

    I would love to connect 😉 Shoot me a line? Kieran@instapage.com

  • Larry Kim

    don’t be mad lol

  • Stan Chris

    I like the fascinating features of SEMrush, and I also found out that with serpstat.com you can actually find particular adverts that have some specific keywords you’re interested in. Have you tried this tool before??

    • Have not used before, but seems like a cool tool. Thanks for sharing!

      • Stan Chris

        You should give it a try….maybe play around with it like I did, while you keep scanning for other cool tools like this one. One thing I believe is that the best hasn’t come yet.