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How David Haye & Carlos Tevez Were Turned into Holiday Salesmen.

The author

Epiphany Search

A week or so back, you may or may not have seen the following adverts for Teletext Holidays, a client of ours: David Haye Google advert

Background: David Haye, the UK heavyweight boxer loses a big fight against the Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Wladimir Klitschko, with many going on to suggest he should now consider retiring from the sport. (More details here) Carlos Tevez Google advert Background: Carlos Tevez, the Argentinian footballer who plays for Manchester City, announced that he was homesick, missed his family back in Argentina and found it hard to settle in Manchester calling the city “small and wet” (More details here).


I’m a big fan of using PPC advertising in this type of way, but I won’t pretend to be the first to have tried it. In fact, only last month I wrote a blog post talking about this type of strategy in detail with some great examples from other advertisers. If you have time, I’d recommend reading it, as it outlines the importance of conducting this type of strategy carefully to ensure you don’t harm your existing PPC campaign. As I mention in my previous post; “What if PPC could be used as a potential brand exposure tool? What if you could get your brand message out in front of thousands of people, but pay a fraction of the cost of traditional offline advertising, like print or television advertising, would incur? What if you were to bid on a topical term and write an advert that, whilst still represented the brand image/message you want to get across, also worked an angle that playfully related itself to the searched for keyword? Do this well, and the user will notice and remember your name, quite possibly without even the need to click or cost you money. Do this very well, and they may even mention your advert to others for some brilliant, low-cost viral marketing.” Whilst I obviously hoped the two adverts would get picked up on in some form, even I was surprised at the level of exposure they eventually gained.

How did you go about it?

Well for starters, with Teletext Holidays, we’re very lucky to have a client who is more than willing to be creative and innovative, which, for an agency, is fantastic. I believe with this sort of PPC technique, it’s extremely important to have the full backing of the client before running a campaign, particularly when brand messages are so heavily involved. For that reason, any topical ideas along with ad copy are always sent straight to Teletext for pre-approval. In turn, they are always very quick to make a decision, allowing us to jump on a topic straight away, which is essential for this type of technique. Once approved, a campaign can be set up and live within 15 minutes, making it even more perfect to ‘jump’ on topical subjects. As mentioned in my previous blog post, it’s extremely important to set these ad groups in separate campaigns, or even separate accounts if possible to avoid doing damage to your Google quality score over time. Having bids and budgets in place that will ensure your adverts do receive clicks, will ensure their spend won’t soak up huge chunks of budget. It can be great to draft up a list of seasonal events on the horizon to bid on (Valentine’s Day, Easter, The Royal Wedding and so on), but sometimes, the most fun topics can be those you see in the news that morning and suddenly a lightbulb goes off above your head for some funny creative you’d love to run with.

The results?

I’m sure this is really the part you’re most interested in hearing about! But how do you define the success of this brand exposure PPC technique? I don’t think there is any one individual metric that can be used, but rather a combination of factors. Let’s start with the Adwords stats first of all: David Haye campaign: More than 40,000 advert impressions Carlos Tevez campaign: More than 8,000 advert impressions The ultimate aim of a campaign like this is to gain exposure for the brand rather than to directly drive clicks and conversions (but they’re always a nice bonus if they come at a reasonable cost!), so getting our adverts out there and potentially noticed 48,000 times in the space of 24 hours, for a relatively small cost, was fantastic. However, the real joy you get from a campaign like this is when people pick up on it naturally and just start talking about it, causing it to spread virally, and to an extent, that’s exactly what happened. All it can take is for somebody to run a search, spot the advert, tweet about it, and pretty soon, you can gain a large amount of viral exposure. The above are just two examples of tweets that had picked up on the David Haye and Carlos Tevez Google adverts, but there were many more variations than this. There was a point where I had searches on Twitter running for ‘David Haye Google’ and ‘Carlos Tevez Google,’ and tweets and retweets were popping up every couple of minutes. All in all, between the two campaigns, I was able to count up around 300 to 400 tweets mentioning the adverts, which of course, are then shown to all the followers of those people, increasing the reach further. There are basic free tools out there to help estimate reach as shown below – these are the figures just from 16 tweets! From our perspective though, it became even better when people started to specifically pick up on the fact that they were Teletext Holiday’s adverts, and as a result, their own Twitter account started to get unique mentions complimenting the campaign: The pièce de résistance however came when The Evening Standard Newspaper picked up on one of the adverts and decided to mention it in their paper that day: For such a relatively small spend, the above type of brand exposure was absolutely fantastic.

Will you do it again?

The key with this type of PPC advertising is to jump on a topic very early, but for me personally, the topic has to be right, and fit in with the brand you’re promoting, so the advert copy is crucial – cheeky humour is definitely the way forward as that’s what people remember! I will always look for topics that are light hearted and fun, and never any surrounded in potential controversy. I do also think it’s important not to go overboard with how many you attempt in a short space of time, as they will soon lose their impact. So will we try it again in the future? You’ll just have to wait and see…. ;) Any comments or questions? Please leave them here or on Twitter - @PeterGould83