Spark Something - Or Don't
16:31 on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 | SEO | 1 Comment
I was reminded this week of the Sony Ericsson TV Spot campaign (watch it here) back in October for their Satio model. The TV advert was a colourful and inspirational ad, by Saatchi & Saatchi with the call to action, "Search 'Spark Something'".
At its height, it drew around 20,000 UK searches near the end of October.
"Spark Something" search trend on Google
Here's the problem. Even now, searching for "spark something" shows that Sony Ericsson has almost no search visibility whatsoever.
"Spark Something" in Google - Sony Ericsson ranks #10
"Spark Something" in Bing - Sony Ericsson doesn't rank on the first page
"Spark Something" in Yahoo - A number 1 - hurray!
The situation was even worse during the peak of the campaign, with Sony Ericsson securing no search traction whatsoever.
Interestingly, Google and Yahoo have respectively ranked two different pages from Sony Ericsson. It looks like Google's got the right one and I'm personally quite suspicious about the page Yahoo has ranked.
While it's common knowledge that meta tags don't help you rank in Google, they certainly affect how many users are going to click through to your site and Sony let this appear in their search snippet:
Search snippet from Google
I wouldn't like to guess how much money the TV spot took to create, film, edit, produce and air, but I'm disappointed (probably like many searchers) that the SEO requirement was totally overlooked. The only call to action in the advert is for people to search and Sony Ericsson just aren't there, even now.
What could Sony Ericsson have done? I'm quite confident that anyone with even a basic knowledge of SEO could have got this page to rank well, a start would have been optimising the title tag (or just a vaguely sensible title with a vague nod to the advert would have been a start) and sorting out their meta data to let users know they've found the right place. Any developer worth their salt would have taken care of this as a matter of course; it's more of a usability issue than SEO.
I'm confident Sony Ericsson could have achieved a number 1 ranking without any link building, as well. With their weighty homepage, a link pointing to their "Spark Something" campaign with correct anchor text would have most likely done the trick.
I'm sure it's not the last time we'll see example of search-action advertising going wrong, but it's painful to see a campaign fail when 15 minutes of SEO work could have kept it on course.