Future Flames – Not the Most Well Thought Out Ad Campaign



I went to watch Harry Potter last night. I know that might seem like a highly irrelevant way to start a SEO related blog post, but hear me out.  Before the film (which was, by the way, incredible) there were, as always at the Odeon, a LOT of ads. And one such ad was for Coca Cola’s ‘Future Flames’ campaign. If anyone’s not familiar with the Future Flames campaign, here’s that very ad.

Again, you might not be with me here on what this could possibly have to do with SEO, so let me stop being so cryptic. At the end of the video (57 seconds in) Coca Cola tells its audience where to go to find out more. But rather than telling them explicitly where to go (i.e. a web address) it tells them to ‘search future flames online.’

Future Flames – A Non-Brand Search

It’s pretty common for TV ads to point us to search engines now. Had we been asked to search ‘Coca Cola,’ online I could understand it. After all, it’s highly unlikely that anything will outrank Coke for its own brand terms. But ‘Future Flames’ isn’t a brand term, is it? Not for Coke at least, but there is indeed a gas fire company with a similar name.

I don’t know exactly how much Coke spent on this ad, but it’s showing in Odeon cinemas before, undoubtedly, the film of the year (if not the film of a generation). That can’t possibly come cheap! It surprises me that, with the whole point being to send users off to Coke’s own Future Flames page, that they rely on people finding it for themselves online.

I did the search myself….

Future Flames in Google

Google is dominated by Coke’s listings for ‘Future Flames’ and there’s a PPC ad running too.

future flames google

"Future Flames" in Google UK

Future Flames in Yahoo

Again, Coke has the top spot though doesn’t dominate the listings as much as it does in Google.

future flames yahoo

"Future Flames' in Yahoo

Future Flames in Bing

Coke is 3rd, after thesun.co.uk and the gas fire website I mentioned earlier. In addition, Coca Cola don’t even appear to have an additional PPC ad running on this either.

future flames bing

"Future Flames" in Bing

Now granted, in the UK, Google has 92% of the market share. But nonetheless, this illustrates how easily their campaign could potentially backfire. (I’m sure futureflame.co.uk wish they actually had a site up, rather than a ‘coming soon’ page.

In conclusion, don’t let your multi million pound ad campaign rely on organic search results!

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Tecmark Author Stacey MacNaught

About the Author

Stacey MacNaught: Search Director

Stacey joined us in 2009 as a junior copywriter; now she's a recognised figure on the global speaking circuit, having wowed audiences in the UK, Europe and US - including at MozCon 2014. She leads our search team and works with clients to deliver high-level campaign strategies.

Visit Stacey's Page
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