Word of the Day: Adroit

Toyota Prius and Dictionary.com are working together on an innovative contextual advertising program.
According to The Wall Street Journal:

With help from Saatchi & Saatchi, the car maker is working with Dictionary.com for ads targeted to the definitions of words such as “sustainability,” “green” and “moonroof.” Those keyword-based ads launched last week, but Prius also took over the online dictionary’s home page Wednesday and Thursday, with another two-day takeover planned for July. Dictionary.com has also included Prius ads in its word-of-the-day emails, which reach 1.3 million subscribers.
“All of a sudden, Toyota Prius becomes synonymous with ‘futuristic,'” said Tom Sipple, vice president of advertising sales at Dictionary.com, a unit of IAC/InterActiveCorp. This is the first time that the site has displayed advertising in such a way, and the venture has sparked interest among other marketers interested in word-search-based ads.

I’m sure some librarians are upset over the home page takeover, but I like it. From a design perspective, it’s actually a cleaner and more pleasing experience than the standard Dictionary.com layout. From a business perspective, Dictionary.com has to pay their bills just like every other site with heavy server loads.
People keep saying online advertising doesn’t work. I’m kind of sick of hearing that sad tale. Maybe campaigns haven’t performed up to expectations, because we–the creators–have been lazy and haven’t figured out how to make them work.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.