A search in Google for the title of a popular Super Bowl video ad turns up a rival's paid search ad.
At least one advertiser piggybacked on the success of a rival's Super Bowl TV ad.
A Google search for "Imported From Detroit Chrysler," the title of a popular Super Bowl ad featuring rapper Eminem, turned up a paid search ad from Chevy on Monday.
So, instead of finding this memorable Chrysler TV ad:
You would get an ad leading you to "official Chevrolet" videos including this one for Al's Chevy dealership:
"Competitive brand keyword bidding in Google (where it is allowed by their trademark policy in many countries) is fairly common," said Kevin Lee, CEO of search consultancy Didit, in an e-mail interview. "However for many competitors there is an unstated agreement not to bid on each other's keywords because the only one getting rich is Google."
He added: "One thing to keep in mind however is that quality scores for competitive brand ads can be fairly low, requiring significant bids to get the ads high in the results." A quality score is a formula used by search engines to determine an ad's rank and cost per click.
Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.
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