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23 comments
December 12, 2007
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This is fantastic. This won the Grand Prix at this year's Eurobest.

Google will have to ban this (or limit it to special uses like this) lest it become the norm and the text ads become a awash with ASCII porn.

Ashley, you will find that ASCII ads now get knocked back by Google for repetitive punctuation... unfortunately.

Posted by:Andrew on December 12, 2007 5:27 PM

I like this very much.
@Andrew: do you know if Google knocks ASCII ads on purpose? Did they create a repetetive puctuation rule just for that?

Posted by:Nubloo on December 12, 2007 10:09 PM

I can't be certain Nubloo, but there was a lot of discussion a little while ago on enhancing CTR with the use of ASCII in the text ads... soon after the punctuation filter kicked in (well up, it has been there for some time just not as strict).

Posted by:Andrew on December 13, 2007 5:41 PM

Checked with Google. This never ran! Don't scam the digital space please...

Posted by:Justin on December 13, 2007 5:50 PM

Justin: How did you check it? I don't think it is not a scam...

Posted by:Michal Acler on December 13, 2007 10:11 PM

agreed... very cool idea, but when i checked it on google.de it wasn't there.

Posted by:Freddy on December 14, 2007 8:30 AM

Nichal, I spoke to the peeps at Google when we met for a presentation. They said its against AdWords regulations, it never could've ran.

Posted by:Justin on December 17, 2007 3:40 PM

Michal, I spoke to the peeps at Google when we met for a presentation. They said its against AdWords regulations, it never could've ran.

Posted by:Justin on December 17, 2007 3:41 PM

Then it is really weird how it can won the Grand Prix at Eurobest... I don't understand...

Posted by:Michal Acler on December 17, 2007 11:37 PM

Justin, being against regulations and the ad running are separate issues. Speeding is against the law yet people speed.

When you say "I talked to the peeps at Google" you imply a very small group of one mind. Believe it or not, not everyone at Google agrees with each other and not everyone is involved in all the loops. Google has over 13,000 employees. What you heard is the result of training people receive on how to handle such questions. Notice that is a very generic answer you received (they wouldn't have to be at all familiar with the case you mentioned in order to use that reply.)


I've worked at several companies with similar PR/public messaging policies. What you heard is likely a good policy of how to respond to questions that are related to security, legal, or policy violations. Notice the over-compensating certainty of "NEVER could have happened." This is not a very credible statement when you consider it more closely - they are in effect saying "I am fully familiar with all aspects of Google code, I know about every confidential thing that happens in Google, I know every violation that Google doesn't know about, and under no circumstances or under any conditions could this have EVER happened since the first day Adsense was launched."

Do you still believe you were given a real answer?

Posted by:Miles on January 5, 2008 7:09 AM

ok mate. we all have our own thing to rock our boats. It's kool.

Posted by:Justin on January 8, 2008 7:06 PM

fake.

1. google would not allow it.
2. "THIS" is their marketing move. to bring this fake 'ascii' act to the media/world and make everyone go "wow, cool" while they spam their SIXT name all over.

Posted by:Detlev on January 10, 2008 6:41 AM

Fake and as someone mentioned this is a clear marketing effort not through cool innovative ASCII ads (if only they were possible sigh :P ) but in the name of it.

As far as my understanding goes Google’s ad verification algorithms are stringent and can very well detect errors in spelling, punctuation and at times even grammar. It should have warned/alerted/rejected this ad, if not for anything with the trademark “excessive use of punctuation”

Posted by:Jyothirmayee on January 10, 2008 7:59 AM

Nice

Posted by:Encrypt on January 10, 2008 11:21 PM

After seeing the blog posts about this yesterday - I tried it out. The CTR is not that great. You can see the ads I created on http://www.sweetrockmedia.com/ascii_adwords/

They are still up on Google as of right now - search for Undervalued Homes or Ugly Homes.

They are nowhere as cool as the ones in the video above so maybe that's why my CTR is not that great.

Posted by:Sweet Rock Media on January 12, 2008 7:35 AM

AMAZING!!!!!!

Posted by:אנימציות לסלולר& on January 15, 2008 1:17 AM

A great idea. It's use is limited to those companies who have a product or service can visualise thier product this way. But still a great use of lateral thinking.

Posted by:Richard Michie on January 15, 2008 9:41 PM

Tried something comparable but even a lot simpler tonight. But advertising a 5 star hotel with ***** in the headline was not allowed. Too bad, but understandable.

Posted by:Henrik on January 24, 2008 8:20 AM

I'm not sure why it hasn't been mentioned before but the real tell-tale sign that the SixT video is a fake is that they have three ads all with www.sixt.de or whatever which would not all be able to show at the same time. They shouldn't in the first place due to excessive punctuation and would need an exception request to put it through the human editors who should then disapprove it.
but basically, if someone else bids on your terms using your display url they can displace your listing. google's system doesn't allow for the same display url to show up so many times on the same search.
otherwise you'd just take the first page in its entirety because if someone clicks lower you'd just pay less so it would still be worthwhile.
so while i can believe the ascii could slip through Google's net - although if it ever hit top spots it would look more than stupid since the house/car would be in one long line - i can't believe the presentation isn't completely faked.

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Bye

Posted by:toyota fj cruiser on January 31, 2008 3:12 PM

WoW!

Posted by:peanut on March 29, 2008 1:48 AM

In Google it does not work, obviously. But we tried this solution in Poland with other media offering text-only ads. CTRs were much higher than average for other client's campaigns.

Posted by:Jacek on April 1, 2008 8:20 PM

Yes that works, i have tried it on my website and there is no problem, have a look: http://www.google-live.fr/adwords/ameliorer-rapidement-son-ctr-avec-des-annonces-ascii/

Posted by:jeanv on April 23, 2008 9:17 PM


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