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Searching for turkey & all the trimmings

Monday, November 19, 2007

Posted by Jenny Liu, Sr. Account Planner CPG New York

On November 16th, Hitwise hosted a Food & Grocery Webinar in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. The focus was on search activities around holiday dinners and party planning.

According to Hitwise, the top searches related to turkey leading up to 11/16/07 were:
1. turkey
2. deep fried turkey
3. turkey recipes
4. turkey pictures
5. map of Turkey
6. turkey crafts
7. Wild Turkey Zone
8. Thanksgiving turkey
9. how to cook a turkey
10. Thanksgiving turkey recipes

If you're a food advertiser, here are some tips for running a search campaign on holiday-related keywords:

- Include negative keywords in your campaign like "map" or "country" to avoid capturing traffic from users looking for information about the country of Turkey.
- Preliminary search patterns in 2007 show the keyword "deep fried turkey" surpassing that of "turkey", indicating the growing popularity of this (delicious!) variation.
- The seasonal trends behind the search for "green bean casserole" and related terms show that it is a popular side dish not only for Thanksgiving but also for Easter.
- Prime rib is the #1 prepared protein searched for around Christmas.
- Users are almost as likely to search for "dressing" as they are for "stuffing". Be sure to take account of these regional usage differences, and include both keywords in your campaign.

Looking back to December 2006, we see:
- Desserts had the greatest share of holiday-related search terms, so tantalize people with text ads about your best pie, bread, cookies and cake recipes!
- The #1 cookie term searched was "Christmas cookies".
- The top three edible gift terms in Q4 2006 were: 1) gift baskets 2) wine and 3) candy.

Here's to all the delicious masterpieces you'll help folks make, bake, create and give this holiday season.

Hitwise also noted another turkey day trend that's emerged over the last few holiday seasons in a recent LA Times article: after the tryptophan wears off, people are going online and planning their brick-and-mortar shopping strategies for Black Friday and the weekend. The greatest amount of online traffic (searching and visiting, though not necessarily buying) actually happens on Thanksgiving Day itself. Hitwise also found that savvy consumers and retailers have started leveraging the term "Black Friday" -- searches on "Black Friday ads" are up 91% over last year.

Update: Added new final paragraph on 11/21/07