Bango buys UK’s worst-viewed billboard to protest ‘broken’ search ad


An intentionally gruesome ad campaign has been launched by Bango in a sneaky dig into search advertising traps, where he claims that up to 35% of ads fail to reach their target audience.

The behavioral targeting company used a billboard ad to illustrate how up to $ 60 billion in marketing spend is wasted out of sight and out of mind on search ads.

The low impact campaign shows how over a third of search ads fail to find their target audience. Of successful ads, more than a quarter miss people with intent to buy and 20% ignore key decision makers.

The haphazard nature of digital advertising is summed up by a case study from Bango, which found that an ad targeting seasoned marketers was sent to students, supermarket cashiers and a dog breeder instead.

In this dismal environment, Bango unleashed what he calls ‘the world’s worst advertising campaign’ by acquiring risky real estate on Clear Channel’s least-seen UK billboard near Manchester to get his point across – not with a bang, but rather a moan.

Calling the unpromising region “always a better use of the budget than many search ads,” Anil Malhotra, Marketing Director at Bango, told The Drum: “We wanted to launch this campaign because I sincerely believe that advertising search is faulty. Search marketing captures billions of dollars in advertising budgets in exchange for so-called targeted marketing. But it is increasingly evident that it is not well targeted – not in the way suggested by those who advertise on the Search Network.

“The lesson digital marketers need to learn is that what people are looking for is a bad indicator of what they want to buy. On its own, it is not enough to show purchase intention. The same goes for many social media ads. What people “like” on social media isn’t always what they like in real life, or what they want to buy. This is one of the reasons people express their irritation with irrelevant online advertising.

“While our billboard advertising may be the worst in the country, I hope it will inspire marketers to rethink their approach to targeting customers.”

Bango is positioning itself as a trusted guide for brands wishing to navigate this minefield by applying purchasing behavior targeting technology to better understand how consumers spend their money based on real payment data.

Taking the guesswork out of what may amount to digital witchcraft, technology allows marketers to target audiences based on what they have already purchased.

The risk of association with unsavory content, such as disinformation about Covid, as recently happened to Nike, Amazon and Ted Baker, adds to the misery of brands online.

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