IndustryTV Commercial “Googles” Pontiac

TV Commercial "Googles" Pontiac

Here’s yet another example of “Google the verb” in action, this time in a telelvion commercial. It also illustrates why “Google the brand” is so powerful.

Several sources including Media Post, Searchblog, and SEOmoz Blog point out that new television commercial for Pontiac (airing regionally in the U.S.) includes a Google mention and an actual shot of someone entering the word Pontiac into the Google search box with voice over saying:

“Don’t take our word for it, Google ‘Pontiac’ to find out!”

That’s right, don’t call (no phone number) or the common line in tv ads for automobile manufacturers, “visit your local xxx dealer.” Nope, just Google it.

The complete 30 second commercial is available on YouTube here. The audio and video are ok but not great. In true “old schoool” media bootlegging style, it was recorded by someone placing a camera in front of the screen. (-:

When I just “Googled” Pontiac I find an ad (in a blue box) for the “official” Pontiac home page at the top of the web results page and sponsored links a myriad of car pricing services in the right column.

Battelle makes a thought provoking point about this tv/web ad combo:

Now, when I Google Pontiac, I see two sponsored links up top [I’m only seeing one], both from Pontiac (if I were, say, Toyota, I might just think about bidding that keyword….but I digress). In any case, since many folks have no idea that those blue shaded links are in fact ads, I am sure that they are going to be making Google a lot of money over the course of this campaign.

Yes, John is very accurate when he writes, “many folks have no idea that those blue shaded links are in fact ads.” What does this say about the searcher and the knowledge they have about understanding the difference between a paid and organic listings? Is the better disclosure and documentation that most search providers offer making a difference?

Postscript: In my Google search for Pontiac, after the paid listing in the blue box, a link to a map of Pontiac, Michigan, and OneBox with results from my desktop, I end up on the first organic result also from

Postscript: Btw, look at all of the free publicity Pontiac is getting by running this ad. Smart!

Postscript From Danny: Google tells me Pontiac did seek their permission to use Google in the ad. Google did not pay to be in the ad, nor was it any type of comarketing activity. Says Google:

“We are happy that Pontiac has featured Google search in their television ad campaign. This is evidence that mainstream brand advertisers are increasingly realizing the close relationship between broadcast advertising and search usage.”


Searchmetrics Core Web Vitals Study

whitepaper | Analytics Searchmetrics Core Web Vitals Study

The Ultimate Guide to Forum Link Building in 2020

whitepaper | Analytics The Ultimate Guide to Forum Link Building in 2020

Top 5 SEO Mistakes

whitepaper | Analytics Top 5 SEO Mistakes

Improving SEO & Developer Relationships

whitepaper | Development Improving SEO & Developer Relationships