Andrew Frank

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Andrew Frank
Research VP
5 years at Gartner
30 years IT industry

Andrew Frank specializes in best practices for data-driven marketing, including how organizations can use data to drive sales, loyalty, innovation and other business goals. Andrew also specializes in marketing and advertising technology and business trends …Read Full Bio

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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.


Category: Advertising Media     Tags:

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael Troiano   March 5, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Brilliant. Point well made.

    You shankapotamus, you.

  • 2 Andrew Frank   March 6, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    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 Henry   March 21, 2009 at 11:10 pm

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

  • 4 Earl   March 27, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    It’s funny, memorable, and catchy.

  • 5 Julie   June 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    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 Sarah   October 1, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    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 Mike Yelich   October 3, 2009 at 10:33 am

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

  • 8 mickeyfan   November 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    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 Ru   December 15, 2009 at 2:14 pm

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