Orange PPC advertising gets it wrongI am a bit of a geek in many ways, but gadgets and phones are definitely one of my weaknesses and I go through them like toad of Toad Hall goes through hobbies.

As an Android man, the ability to go through phones is made even easier as there is always a new handset to drool over and convince yourself that you actually need (which, of course, you do not). Fellow Android geeks will know that there is currently an avalanche of new phones being launched – the latest Nexus handset, HTC’s latest flagship device and the intriguing looking Motorola Razr.

Doing a bit of Monday morning research into the Razr, which is technically the worst but I personally find the most interesting, alerted me to a good example of a ‘PPC fail’.

If you are reading this post, I suspect that you understant a little about search engine marketing. If you don’t, you should understand that arguably the greatest strength of paid search (or PPC – ‘pay per click’) over organic search (or SEO – search engine optimisation / the ‘free’ results) is the speed at which you can make things happen.

SEO takes time and it can be very hard to predict when the rankings that you are working for will actually come good. PPC offers a lever of immediacy that is unrivalled and there are many opportunities to capitalise on it, if you make the effort to do so…

Getting back on track, a search for ‘razr’ this morning revealed a series of ads that were not surprising given the ‘hot’ nature of the Motorola Razr:

Motorola Razr PPC ads

Three retailers doing what you should do and having relevant ad copy and some degree of lure to hook the user ‘s interest and hopefully attract clcks. You could argue that Expansys have the upper hand here as they actually have it in stock and are offering a price drop (already?!), but both Phones4U and Dialaphone have at least acknowledged that it is a new handset and have included extra details to appeal to the Razr geeks amongst us.

Scroll down to the bottom of the PPC ads and what do we see?

Orange PPC Fail

The true phone geeks will realise that this relates to the ‘original’ Motorola Razr, which was an iconic phone in its day (yes, I had one!) and Orange could be commended for promoting out a comparable handset that is actually available to buy, but I find it amazing that this ad is still running with all the fuss about the launch of the new Razr.

I don’t actually know if the official Orange shop is going to be stocking the Razr, but simply leaving this old ad running is, im my humble opinion, a failure to really grasp the potential that PPC offers.

If Orange is not touching the new Razr, this ad should have been pulled as it is likely to see a surge in impressions during the launch of the new model and ther is a real risk of wasted budget spend plus possible negative brand associations through appearing to be out of touch with current models. Yes, there is an outside chance that users may be tempted into buying the flipout model, but I suspect that this is an extremely remote likelihood.

If Orange is intending to launch the handset, there should be at least some form of teaser ad and registration mechanic to allow users to signal their interest and to be kept informed of availability. Not having any mention of it at all just seems odd and not a good example of how to use paid search.

It really doesn’t take too long to create new ad campaigns and I find it hard to believe that a significant phone launch hasn’t triggered some form of activity from one of the biggest mobile phone brands. For a young / hip brand, this just makes it look as though Orange doesn’t have its finger on the pulse.

Is it a case of poor communication or someone (or an agency?) getting it wrong and a case of red faces rather than orange? I don’t know the answer to that question but would love to know if it is indeed an oversight or whether there is a deliberate strategy at play.

If anyone from Orange ends up reading this post and agrees that it isn’t your finest hour, we would love to speak to you! :-)