The Yahoo! Summit Series Event, “Search: Thinking Outside the Funnel”, was held yesterday and the first Yahoo! Search Light Award was given to RPA for their campaign for Honda Element.
The competition for this inaugural award was tight. Agency.com was nominated for the work they did on the "Miller Beer Run" campaign, that included an entertaining Flash game developed by SkyWorks.
Avenue A/RazorFish was there for their "Love the Double" campaign for Chase Bank. They used an interesting method of nonsearch marketing to drive traffic to search for the campaign (and obviously to ther site directly). Basically they found a spike in searches for various terms when they were used in other media.
The Bob Lutz blog launched by GM Planworks, the inhouse advertsing efforts of General Motors detailled using specific events - like the Detroit annual AutoShow to launch a product and how these events and some direct marketing also leads to extra searching.
The keynote address was given by David Verklin, CEO of Carat Americas, who asked the audience "What would you like to see in your 'future of search'?" - his involved an interpretation of John Battelle's view of search integration with other media such as TV and Cable. "It is hard to overstate the position of search in online media advertising and advertising to the interested," he said.
Verklin also mentioned SMS advertising. "Ads on cellphones is a future growth industry". He told the gathering of SEM agency heads and other high end search spenders that Cara Mobile had been tracking this and that in Asia 39% of cellphone users have received an text message ad and 34% in Europe, while the US trails the space with only around 8%.
His numbers of 92% of people who search for electronics buy offline seemed high, but he called on the audience who had brick and mortar locations to spend a week asking people if they had searched online before buying. To try and just measure online conversion is many cases may be foolish given those types of numbers, he said.
David Karstedt, Senior VP and GM of Yahoo! Direct Business, introduced the event and apart from some minor glitches with the lighting, Ron Bellanger another Yahoo! Senior Director kept the event moving.
Interestingly the award was made by the guys who "Pimp My Ride" - West Coast Customs - who combined a spotlight with some Yahoo! purple. It looked good standing there at the cocktail reception.