Try Reading the Rules, Shankapotamus

By Andrew Frank | March 5, 2009 | 9 Comments

Folks, it’s been over five weeks since I lambasted the big Superbowl ad spenders at companies like – oh, let’s see, what was the name of that advertiser’s brand? Oh, yeah, – E*Trade, for failing (or letting its agency fail) to support its very clever, and very costly, Golf Baby commercial with even a single organic search listing for the memorable and highly original coinage, “Shankapotamus” (as in “why don’t you try reading the rules, Shankapotamus?” – you might notice I’m using the word “shankapotamus” a lot in this post).

Since that post, searches for the term “shankapotamus” have generated over three hundred visits to my blog, which maintains the number four spot in Google’s organic rankings for the term, “shankapotamus.” In fact, I’m embarrassed to reveal that “shankapotamus” is by far the most common search term sending traffic to this page. I hope the shankapotamus seekers are happy with what they find.

E*Trade, which dutifully buys expensive keywords like “online trading” and “investment services,” is nowhere to be found in those search listings on Google, MSN, and Yahoo. The number one listing on Google as of this writing is for a girl’s golf blog that’s running a Try Reading the Rules Shankapotamus! T-Shirt Giveaway. No mention of E*trade there. I wonder how much traffic they’ve gotten?

Wake up, creatives! SEM branding is about controlling namespaces. It’s not just direct marketing tactics. If I can be a shankapotamus, so can you.

9 Comments
  1. 5 March 2009 at 10:21 pm
    Michael Troiano says:

    Brilliant. Point well made.

    You shankapotamus, you.

  2. 6 March 2009 at 6:06 pm
    Andrew Frank says:

    Thanks Mike.

    The experimental part of this confirmed what I expected: the blog has now risen to the top of Google’s “shankapotamus” search results page which is now generating page views at a rate of about 4 per hour.

    Anyone else find this…interesting?

  3. 21 March 2009 at 11:10 pm
    Henry says:

    So let me get this straight. Shankapotamus = etrade. Okay got it. thanks alot.

  4. 27 March 2009 at 9:03 pm
    Earl says:

    It’s funny, memorable, and catchy.

  5. 2 June 2009 at 3:39 pm
    Julie says:

    Just saw the commercial again on TV. I love it! And, of course, thought I’d google “shankapotamus”. For sure E-Trade missed the boat. But you’re probably more entertaining than E-Trade anyway. ;)

  6. 1 October 2009 at 3:56 pm
    Sarah says:

    idk i read some of this.. i head the word shankapotamus on a commerical on tv and that is my and my bestfriends favorite word now. we made up our own meaning for shankapotamus. its a awesome word!!! :)

  7. 3 October 2009 at 10:33 am
    Mike Yelich says:

    My ten month old granddaughter will be trick or treating as shankapotaMISS.

  8. 9 November 2009 at 12:23 pm
    mickeyfan says:

    Ok, I was just doing an online survey and it asked for names of companies that I knew did financial trading. I knew Shankapotamus, but do you think I could think of the company name? (Then there was “Take……these golden wings….” but that’s another loss)

  9. 15 December 2009 at 2:14 pm
    Ru says:

    ….but you didn’t define “shankapotamus” anywhere here !!

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