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5 PPC Advertising Examples

June 28, 2023

by Anna Peck

Senior SEO Specialist at Clutch.co

Pay-per-click, known as PPC advertising, surrounds us in our daily digital experiences. Explore the best PPC advertising examples by popular brands.

Whether you're engaged in a Google search or casually browsing through social media, there are PPC ads. This marketing strategy involves businesses showcasing ads on platforms like Google (through paid search) and Facebook (via paid social), and they only incur charges when someone clicks on their ads. 

Renowned for being a cost-efficient and highly impactful advertising method, PPC ads have gained immense popularity among businesses of all scales. PPC is a digital marketing channel that drives more traffic and conversions from search engines.

PPC provides detailed metrics and data to track and optimize campaigns, allowing you to measure your return on investment (ROI) and make data-driven decisions. 

You're not alone if you find yourself searching for methods to generate initial traffic and sales for your new business or contemplating strategies to expand your brand's online presence. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a valuable tool. While PPC offers an excellent opportunity to market your business and reach a broader customer base, it can initially appear perplexing for newcomers to the channel.

Find the top PPC agencies on Clutch by browsing our directory. 

What is PPC?

PPC, short for pay-per-click, represents an advertising approach where you pay a fee to have your website featured on the search engine result page (SERP) when users enter specific keywords or phrases into the search engine. 

The ads you design will be displayed on the SERP, guiding visitors to your site, and the number of ad clicks received determines the fee you pay. When executed effectively, PPC can generate high-quality leads. 

By establishing a seamless user experience, your PPC endeavors can yield a significant return on investment (ROI). While PPC is quite easy to execute, it takes some planning and preparation.

While PPC advertising is predominantly employed in search engine results pages like Google or Bing, it is also utilized on social media platforms. However, the cost per impression (CPM) tends to be more prevalent in that context. Businesses leverage PPC advertising to attract traffic, generate sales, and receive inquiries from their target audience. 

With popular PPC platforms, companies have access to exceptional targeting capabilities, enabling them to display ads exclusively to individuals who closely align with their customer demographic. 

Search engines are the primary avenue for people seeking products or service providers. When there is an engaged audience actively searching for what your business offers, it presents a prime opportunity to secure a sale. 

PPC empowers you to seize this opportunity by targeting and reaching these interested individuals, with a level of precision that traditional advertising cannot match.

Reasons to Use PPC Advertising

For several compelling reasons, PPC advertising has garnered immense popularity among businesses, regardless of size. 

Firstly, it is widely recognized as a highly cost-effective advertising channel. Additionally, one of its unique advantages is that it can be developed and managed internally, eliminating the need for substantial external investments. 

Furthermore, PPC advertising stands out due to its exceptional measurability and trackability, which are rare in advertising.

Here's a brief overview highlighting the advantages of employing PPC advertising:

  1. Budget flexibility
  2. Measurable and trackable
  3. Targeting options
  4. Stay ahead of the competition
  5. Access to marketing data

1. Budget Flexibility

Advertisers have the flexibility to set a budget for their PPC campaigns. Based on their observed outcomes, they can easily adjust their ad spend by either increasing it to expand their reach or pausing it to halt expenditures temporarily. 

This level of control allows advertisers to manage their PPC campaigns according to their desired outcomes efficiently.

2. Measurable & Trackable

The results of PPC ads can be accurately tracked and measured using tools such as Google Ads and Google Analytics. These powerful platforms offer real-time insights into crucial metrics like clicks, conversions, and impressions. 

By leveraging these tools, advertisers gain a comprehensive overview of the performance of their PPC campaigns, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and optimize their advertising strategies effectively.

3. Targeting Options

Using PPC advertising, users can target specific audiences according to their search behavior, browsing history, demographic information, and more. This level of precision allows advertisers to conduct tests and experiments with various targeting options, ultimately optimizing their campaigns to maximize impressions and effectively reach their desired audience segments. 

Through strategic targeting, advertisers can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their PPC efforts.

4. Stay Ahead of Competition

To maintain a strong presence and prevent competitors from dominating SERPs, targeting keywords related to your brand or those associated with your competitors is essential. 

By strategically incorporating brand-related or competitor-related keywords into your PPC campaigns, you can establish your visibility and ensure a competitive edge in the SERPs. 

This approach helps to safeguard your brand's online presence and mitigate the influence of rivals in search engine rankings.

5. Access to Marketing Data

The data gathered from PPC campaigns can serve as a valuable resource to inform and shape your SEO and content marketing strategies. 

By analyzing the insights derived from PPC campaigns, such as keyword performance, conversion rates, and customer behavior, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of specific keywords and content approaches. 

This information can then be utilized to optimize your SEO efforts and refine your content marketing strategy, ensuring you are targeting the right keywords and delivering content that resonates with your target audience.

5 Best PPC Advertising Examples

Converse “Domaination”

Converse, the renowned global footwear powerhouse, enlisted the services of marketing agency Anomoly intending to enhance online engagement among their teenage audience creatively and enjoyably.

In their quest, they delved into valuable insights and leveraged the power of Google Ad to seamlessly integrate themselves into the cultural fabric that resonated with their audience.

Instead of immediately pushing their products, they fostered "converse-actions" by crafting PPC campaigns that precisely targeted the trending search terms their potential customers were actively exploring.


Rather than relying on conventional advertisements, Converse opted for a more interactive approach by initiating a dialogue with viewers. 

Through engaging ad copy and a network of related microsites, they captivated the audience and enticed them into a profound and content-driven experience. Not only did this engage the audience in a total unexpected way, but also still helped drive large volumes of traffic to converse.com

Here are a few example keywords they used:

  • [First day of summer]
  • [Spelling bee]
  • [How to talk to girls]
  • [How to kiss]

On a slim budget of $100,000, the campaign attracted over 600,000 unique visitors, more than double the goal, and beat a traditional cost/visitor by 2600%.

Snickers – You’re Not You When You’re Hungry

In PPC advertising, targeting misspelled search terms is a well-established practice. However, Snickers elevated this strategy to unprecedented heights. Collaborating with the ad agency AMV BBDO and Google, they acquired a comprehensive list of the top 500 search terms.

Leveraging a clever algorithm, they generated an extensive catalog of 25,381 unique misspellings.


Jessica Langdell, representing AMV BBDO, unveils the compilation of misspellings that remarkably drove substantial traffic to Snickers' campaign.

  • [wether]
  • [gool]
  • [ness]
  • [amazing]
  • [definitely]
  • [weird]
  • [vacum]
  • [monsoon]
  • [publically]
  • [facw]

Within two days, Snickers recorded an impressive 558,589 ad impressions, resulting in a click-through rate of 1.05%. Consequently, 5,874 visitors were enticed to explore the campaign's dedicated mini-website, yourenotyouwhenyourehungry.com.

Kleenex Catches Colds

The astute ad professionals at Mindshare devised a distinctive adaptive planning strategy. Recognizing a significant shift in consumer behavior, they observed that individuals seek information about colds or flu on Google rather than consulting a doctor. 

Harnessing this valuable insight, Mindshare leveraged Google's capabilities to target cities across the country experiencing real-time flu outbreaks geographically. 

This enabled them to concentrate their PPC campaign precisely where it mattered most, aligning with the appropriate locations.

Over 18 months, Mindshare diligently examined search patterns associated with colds and flu, meticulously comparing them with other pertinent data such as calls to Government health lines and doctor visits. 

By constructing a sophisticated model, they successfully forecasted real-time flu outbreaks at the city level. The effectiveness of this approach was truly remarkable.

During the 2012 cold and flu season, an astonishing 96% of Kleenex UK's media expenditure was directed toward regions grappling with active flu outbreaks. As a result, total sales witnessed a staggering year-on-year increase of 40% within the first two months.

 A Lesson in How to Get Your Dream Job by Using Paid Search

In 2009, Alec Brownstein, a senior copywriter on the hunt for a new job, devised a brilliantly inventive approach to captivate the individuals he most aspired to impress.

Recognizing that many individuals, including New York's esteemed creative directors, frequently indulge in self-Googling, he strategically selected five influential figures as his prime targets. With his brilliant and clever idea, he aimed to capture their attention and leave a lasting impression.

paid search

His innovative approach involved bidding on the names of these creative directors using Google Ads, leveraging the fact that he was the sole bidder. As a result, he obtained clicks for a mere 13 cents each, directing interested individuals straight to his website. 

The outcome? Remarkably, four out of the five directors extended invitations for interviews, and two of those four even extended job offers. This astounding achievement was made even more impressive because his entire campaign cost him a mere $6! This exceptional feat serves as a testament to his ingenuity and resourcefulness.

The Infamous BP Oil Spill

In 2010, following the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP embarked on a mission to restore their tarnished brand reputation. 

They employed paid advertisements to convey their message as part of their efforts. 

BP strategically bid on more than 1000 search terms associated with the "oil spill" and achieved remarkable success, securing the top position for most of those terms.

bp oil spill

By employing this approach, BP could seamlessly guide visitors directly to a purpose-built page on their website, known as the "Gulf of Mexico Response homepage." This dedicated space served as a platform to elucidate the precise actions and measures they undertook to address the colossal disaster.

Regrettably, BP missed the mark regarding their tone of voice. Instead of engaging on a relatable and human level, they seemed to have allowed their corporate lawyers to take the reins, resulting in a sentence riddled with jargon that lacked any sense of humanity. 

This situation presented a golden opportunity to connect with the public on a personal level, addressing their fears and concerns. 

However, BP's communication appeared devoid of genuine emotion, leaving it feeling impersonal and soulless.

bp oil spill announcement

To compound the issue, a lack of understanding among the general public regarding how PPC (Pay-Per-Click) functions, coupled with the media's affinity for negative narratives, led to BP being accused of manipulating search results, further exacerbating the situation.

PPC Advertising is a Great Way To Help Your Business Thrive

An effective pay-per-click (PPC) campaign can surpass the outcomes achievable through search engine optimization (SEO) alone. 

Although PPC can be costly and challenging to sustain over extended durations, SEO can lead to organic traffic growth over time. Indeed, while search engine optimization can enhance your search rankings gradually, a PPC campaign allows you to secure a prominent position on Google instantly with a simple click of a button. 

PPC brings forth immediate traffic, enabling businesses to make well-informed decisions about promoting their products or services. It facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the optimal platforms to focus advertising efforts on while offering valuable insights into buyer behavior and market trends that can be leveraged.

The abundance of data PPC provides empowers businesses to eliminate guesswork from their advertising endeavors. They can closely monitor industry changes and gauge the market's response to their products, strategies, and messages. 

PPC acts as a catalyst for business expansion by capturing the attention of the 27% of users who click on the top search results. It boosts sales by heightening brand awareness across various sites and platforms while providing the means to effectively measure return on investment (ROI), which is only possible with many traditional marketing methods.

Learn how much it costs to hire a PPC agency.

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