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Smart and funny use of Google Adwords

Text ads can be smart, funny, and sometimes unintentionally hilarious when they show up in the wrong context.

David, our web designer and marketing maestro here at Pingdom was surfing the web last night and put together a list of really funny and original text ads from Google Adwords. We liked them so much that we made this blog entry for your perusal. Let yourself be inspired, or if you’re not into search engine marketing, at least amused. :)

Not quite as intended

Contextual text ads showing up in the wrong context can be highly amusing. Travel plans to Hell, anyone?

funny adwords
More examples over at ROI Revolution.

Clashing interests

This one started as a joke but got the attention of Apple’s lawyers. They are very protective of their brand and forced the person behind it to remove this.

funny adwords


Great idea, and very suitable for a digital design agency. (It would have looked better in a mono-space font, though.)

funny adwords

And here is an example of completely changing a rental car company’s approach to text ads. The pay-off? A 47% increase in click-through.

car adwords

The potentially bad part about using ASCII art in your text ads is that Google seems to be actively filtering and removing ads with ASCII art.

Extremely well targeted

When Google shares plummeted early in 2006, the following, very well-targeted ad showed up. Talk about grabbing an opportunity.

funny adwords

Trading words

When Jeff Gerstmann was fired from his job as editorial director at GameSpot, the event got a lot of media attention. PC Gamer capitalized on this, and gaming blog GameBump retaliated. Via Adwords. :)

funny adwords

We’re sure there are plenty of other excellent examples of text ads out there. If you have links to good ones, please do share them in comments.

No Comments

“Hell” is also German for “light,” and I think in some Scandanavian countries, as well. There is at least one town named “Hell” in Scandanavia.

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has had a few questionable adsense ads on the blogsite!

Whew! Great post!

Jeff McCord

There is a town called Hell in Michigan, as well.

I know for sure there is a Hell, Michigan, which (I might add) gets plenty cold every winter.

My favorite is the Google adds for Spam recipes that I get when I check my gmail spam folder.

Hell exists indeed, in Norway: 63°26’40.26°N 10°54’14.87°O

Well, that clears where the Hell is ..

Great find; very funny! Ebay always has the worst Google ads. They’ll buy anything…

Keep up the good work,


For a long time, searching for “linux” on Google would display adwords ads for Solaris and Microsoft’s Get the Facts campaign. I still have a screenshot of that.

I’ve seen some amusing AdSenses, too bad I didn’t think to record them, I am glad someone did :)

I love the recipes for spam, I wonder if Spam counted on such great advertising.

Also, I looked up Hell on Google maps, it does indeed exist. Now I want to go and get a bumper sticker.

These are great. I’m going to change my adwords ad because only one person has clicked on the ad in three days. Something’s obviously wrong with mine.

Hell is in Michigan, very close to Climax.

here’s one I found while searching for golden retriever information one day…

It wasn’t Google AdWords, but somewhere on my other computer I have a screenshot of a Juniper Networks ad over information related to Cisco Systems equipment. Juniper is a primary competitor of Cisco…

Thanks for the laughs!

Cash for questions, anyone? :D

Nikhil Kardale

May 27th, 2008 at 7:14 am

Great post! Amusing.. well some are absolutely hilarious!

I love dynamic insertion sometimes. If you want more PPC laughs, check out
It’s a spoof site dedicated entirely to making fun of PPC.

While looking on at the trailer for a documentary called “F*ck” (ok, the “*” is from me – you know what the title really was) about the origin and use of the word, I saw next to it an add for “Doogie Howser MD – Season 1″ . . . polar opposites, perhaps?!

I rode my bike to hell once. There wasn’t much to do there, so I bought an ice cream and left.

amazing content, and article cheers!!!

In defense of my home state, Michigan has both Hell and Paradise. Appropriately, Hell is in lower Michigan and Paradise is in upper Michigan.

Don’t forget about I-75 exit 69 – Big Beaver

last year i tired one without words at all. It got banned by Google as a volition:

that’s a pretty funny one. the hillary clinton ad doesn’t really fit…

i just wondering what could be the conversion of these ads.

Adding ASCII art in the ads can also increase the click thru rate, but it may also attrack lost of untargeted visitors.

Love the rental car company’s adverts… ingenious.

I would either download the adwords buddy online course to solve the problem you mentioned, they have lots of video instructionals that go over live setups of accounts and whatnot or just work with John’s agency, results driven marketing, call them at 256-398-3835, they give you a free audit of your Adwords account if you call in and were really helpful in setting up my boss’s company with landing pages.