On October 13, Campaign ME ran a story on a real-time bidding war that started earlier that morning between Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) and Mashreq Bank, after it came across a half-page ad from SCB that appeared in Gulf News. The ad in question featured a simple visual, showing “#1 credit card” in Google’s search box, therefore inviting readers to, literally, search for the “#1 credit card” on the search engine (in fact, the bank asked readers to “Try it. Now.”).
As Campaign ME rightfully reported, SCB “did emerge on top, albeit of the paid search results (ads)”. Shortly after, as shown in a screenshot taken by Campaign ME, Mashreq Bank was able to outbid SCB on Google search in an admittedly brilliant “The Real #1 Credit Card” description in its search ad. However, the publication failed to mention that SCB’s print ad was launched to not only promote its Visa Infinite and Titanium MasterCard credit cards, but to celebrate the fact that the cards had been, respectively, ranked as the Best Premium Card and Best Credit Card at the Smart Cards & Payments Awards Middle East 2014.
And while, indeed, as Campaign ME pointed out in another screenshot, other banks soon joined in on the action, with Mashreq Bank smartly changing its description to “The Smartest Bank”, and “Standard Chartered, at the top on the right flanking HSBC”, removing “the reference to ‘#1’ “, it seems that so has Campaign ME; the publication’s screenshot actually showed a search query for “#credit card”, rather than “#1 credit card”. “@campaignme great article if you would have made the right search #1credit card not #creditcard on the second search at 2.20 pm,” as one follower tweeted. Screenshots below – since Campaign ME likes them so much.