SEO Gets Silly With Campaign

Who says search marketing has to be dry?

In what must rank among the oddest natural optimization campaigns in history, iCrossing has seeded the Web site of client with a handful of absurd landing pages meant to be discovered through generic battery searches.

The optimized pages contain parodies of ads, magazines and Web sites, using them to make tongue-in-cheek claims about the impact of battery life on such disparate phenomenon as boring home videos and erectile dysfunction.

The pages are unified by a fictional character, “battery sociologist” Dr. Thurston Schweiger, who offers pseudo-intellectual commentary on the psychological and social impact of battery life. According to his bio, Schweiger’s family was so poor that he “was given batteries as presents and told to imagine the toys they would go to.”

“We tried to play it for laughs,” said Stephen Tortorici, iCrossing’s executive creative director. “What are batteries to anyone? They’re certainly not a fascinating subject.”

One landing page depicts a parody of a TV Guide listing for a show called “America’s Longest, Most Boring Home Videos.” Dr. Schwieger, in a sidebar, explains the connection between dull home videos and longer battery life.

Another offers up a Conde Nast-style teen magazine that covers nothing but cell phone batteries. Schwieger pontificates on “the loneliness and isolation that can arise from even one lost moment of cellular phone battery power.”

A third landing page parodies the ubiquitous pitches for erectile dysfunction drugs, promoting a made-up med called “Bonora” as a way of discussing men’s relationships to their power tools. In the ad, a middle-aged man stands behind a woman holding a power drill. The copy reads, “Bonora can improve the drilling smoothness and depth for guys with Power Tool Dysfunction (PTD).”

In the sidebar, meanwhile, Dr Schwieger pontificates via a speech bubble on “The drill battery and the fragile male ego.”

As with any SEO program, the ultimate goal is to generate leads, not entertainment. These decidedly silly landing pages are built to snare the attention of searchers who type in generic battery-related queries, and to translate that attention into sales.

“We have related phenomena: links to other pages on the site, as well as email to a friend,” said Tortorici. “There’s also legitimate marketing happening as well. You can actually search for a product. We didn’t want to ignore that.” has been an iCrossing client since May 2004.

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