afaqs!

Who is using Satyam fiasco to run funny or tactical ads on Google?

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | January 12, 2009
How NIIT Imperia saw an opportunity in the Satyam saga and used it in a tactical and funny way to advertise its short-term finance course on Google.com

On & #BANNER1 & # January 7, as soon as news related to the Satyam fraud case started appearing on television channels and people started searching Google.com to find out more details, the team which handles the NIIT Imperia account at Pinstorm, the digital agency on record for NIIT, instantly recognised it as an advertising opportunity.

Pinstorm realised that the context could be used to promote the NIIT Imperia finance course, which teaches the basics of finance and helps middle level management executives to read accounting balance sheets.

Within hours, it planned a search marketing campaign to promote a short-term finance course on Google.com, bought a few keywords and thought of some funny headlines for the ads, finally rolling out a text ad campaign that very night.

Speaking to afaqs!, Ansoo Gupta, head, global business, Pinstorm, says, "The idea was to tactically capitalise on the buzz and the rising search volume related to Satyam on Google.com. We knew that we would definitely get the eyeballs once we put NIIT Imperia's text ads as a sponsored link on the search results page of Google.com."

The campaign is still on and some of the keywords NIIT Imperia is using to push the text ads include 'Satyam', 'PWC', 'Raju', 'Satyam Computer', 'Maytas', 'Ramalinga Raju', 'PricewaterhouseCoopers', 'Ram Mynampati', 'Rama Raju', 'Satyam fraud', 'Financial statement Satyam', 'Financial crisis at Satyam', 'Financial gap at Satyam', 'Satyam financial loss', and 'Satyam confession'.

This implies that whenever any Internet user searches for one of the keywords mentioned above, he will see a text ad for the NIIT Imperia finance course displayed on the right side of the search results page, along with the regular search results.

Interestingly, the text ads carry funny headlines making fun of the trouble at Satyam. For instance, some of the headlines read 'Errors in your books? Set them right with a part-time course from NIIT Imperia', 'Stop financial blunders', and 'Satyam Givum Thunderum - Get the basics of finance right in just 3 months with a course at NIIT Imperia'.

On the effectiveness of the campaign, Gupta says, "55, 000 users saw the ads on various searches within 24 hours of its launch."