Google AdWords and ASCII Art : 50% Increase in Click Thrus

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Google AdWords and ASCII Art : 50% Increase in Click Thrus

When planning and implementing a Google AdWords campaign, copywriting is a key factor to establishing a high quality score, relevance and click thru. Not only is persuasive copy a way to stand out among the crowd and include searchers in the buying process while still on the search results page, but sometimes copy can be used to stand out from the crowd.

ASCII Art is a way to form pictures and images using simple keyboard symbols, like dashes or plus signs; which has been used since the days of the Vic 20 or Commodore Pet to show images on a screen.

PayDay One Ad

The folks at PayDay One emailed me today about some tests they’ve been running with Google Adwords and ASCII Art and that although Google is trying to filter some of this art from being included in their Adwords copy, some of the creatives are still getting through (before later being yanked). This is an excellent mix of ASCII Art and creative copy.

From their account of the process :

The ad is in no way misleading, but rather a more interesting way to try and attract the attention of a consumer that has already indicated that they have an emergency cash need based on their search query.

So I said the results were bitter sweet. The sweet portion is that we saw a 50% higher CTR on this ad versus our control. The bitter part – Google yanked our ad and said that we weren’t complying with AdWords guidelines (they specifically cited the use of capitalization).

50% higher click thru’s from ASCII Art? Amazing.

All from a mix of the Art and some creative copy :

(dash + dash + carrot + lowercase v + carrot + dash + carrot + lowercase v + backslash + space + dot + dot + dot) = –^v^-^–^v

Here are some of their ad creatives and the reason Google denied them :

We’ve seen examples of ASCII Art and Google in the past from CollectiveLondon and Sixt Rental Cars.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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