There was a surprise in AdGooroo’s recent ranking of the most expensive consumer product keywords in paid search. Namely, deodorant and antiperspirant keywords occupied more than half of the top 20 positions.
AdGooroo’s ranking specifically looked at the top 20 consumer product keywords based on the average cost per click advertisers paid to sponsor them via U.S. Google desktop text ads over the six-month period from November 2016 through April 2017.
Eleven of the 20 keywords were related to deodorant or antiperspirant, including the most expensive term in the ranking, ‘men deoderant’ (one of four misspelled variation terms among the eleven) which cost advertisers an average of $26.05 per click to sponsor during the six-month period.
Other deodorant/antiperspirant terms in the ranking include the third-ranked ‘man deodorant’ with a $21.25 average CPC, ‘deodrant’ ($16.19), ‘deodorants’ ($15.12), ‘antiperspirant ingredients’ ($14.52), ‘antipersperants’ ($13.31), ‘deodorant ingredients’ ($12.96), ‘which deodorant is best’ ($12.88), ‘deoderant’ ($12.09), ‘deodorant to stop sweating’ ($11.76) and ‘spray deodorants’ ($11.69).
Judging by total ad spend on these 11 deodorant/antiperspirant terms, it’s obvious that the majority are low-volume outliers, generating between just $3,000 and $26,000 in ad spend over the six months we studied. It’s tempting then to dismiss these terms as aberrations that advertisers either sponsor just to cover their bases or get broadmatched to by Google when sponsoring a more common term like ‘deodorant’.
However, the keyword ‘deodorants’, with its $15.12 average CPC, is irrefutably the real deal, accounting for some $966,000 in ad spend during the period and providing proof that most deodorant advertisers are indeed paying a relatively steep cost each time a consumer clicks their ads.
Further underscoring this point, in a separate study of U.S. Google desktop text ads over the same 6-month period, we found that the average cost per click on 109 non-branded deodorant/antiperspirant keywords was $7.32—less than the average CPC for the 11 deodorant terms we found at the top of the Most Expensive Keywords chart above, but still relatively high. For comparison, AdGooroo data shows a $2.18 average cost per click across all keywords in the retail category from last November through April. In addition, we found the average cost per click across all keywords in the consumer packaged goods category during this period was $1.77.
Why the high cost per click for deodorant terms?
Often we’ve found that products or services with a high price tag will command a higher cost per click in paid search, since advertisers are willing to pay more to attract customers of those products because of the potential to get a high return. Within our top 20 ranking of the most expensive consumer product keywords, ‘eco diamond’ and ‘latex mattresses’ are two examples of such product terms, having an average cost per click of $21.88 and $16.21, respectively.
Although deodorants/antiperspirants are relatively inexpensive products, the same phenomenon may be at hand. It’s our hunch that deodorant consumers are fairly brand loyal and tend not to switch brands very often once they make a choice. Deodorant brands may then be willing to pay more for paid search clicks to attract first-time users and brand switchers because the lifetime value of such consumers is particularly high.
Of note, the two most expensive deodorant terms were geared toward men (‘men deoderant’, ‘man deodorant’). In addition, two other men’s hygiene product terms were found high in the ranking of the most expensive consumer product keywords, ‘body wash men’ ($20.81 average CPC) and ‘body wash mens’ ($16.23). According to one industry group, Global Industry Analysts, growth in the $17 billion-$20 billion global deodorant market is “driven by the steadily rising per capita spending on men’s personal care products.”
Natural and Organic Products
Generally, high competition on a paid search keyword can significantly drive up the cost per click advertisers pay for that term, as bids keep rising as more and more advertisers compete to have their ads show up on the results page rather than their competitors’.
Yet we found the opposite for natural and organic deodorant/antiperspirant keywords such as ‘natural deodorant’, ‘organic deodorant’ and ‘aluminum free deodorant’. Natural/organic terms we studied averaged 52 advertisers per keyword and a $1.56 cost per click, while all 109 terms in our deodorant/antiperspirant keyword group averaged 30 advertisers per keyword and, as mentioned above, a $7.32 cost per click.
One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that organic/natural keywords skew toward smaller brands who cannot afford to bid more on those terms because they have less budget than major brands. Were the large brands to put their considerable resources behind an organic/natural product, cost per click would likely increase on organic/natural terms.
Separately, other specialized deodorant/antiperspirant keywords cost more to sponsor, including ‘clinical strength antiperspirant’ ($10.45 average cost per click), ‘clinical strength deodorants’ ($9.84 average CPC) and ‘prescribed antiperspirant’ ($7.58 average CPC).
Unilever Brands Lead Deodorant Advertisers in Paid Search
We also decided to look at paid search leadership in the deodorant category by examining U.S. Google desktop text ad clicks on the 109 non-branded deodorant- and antiperspirant-related keywords from November 2016 through April 2017. Examples of these keywords include ‘deodorant’, ‘deodorants’, ‘antiperspirant’, ‘men’s deodorant’, ‘deodorant brands’, ‘best deodorant’, ‘best deodorant for men’ and ‘best deodorant for sweating’.
From November-April, 406 advertisers spent $4.1 million sponsoring this deodorant/antiperspirant keyword group.
Unilever brands dominated deodorant advertising in paid search over the six-month period. Leading all advertisers was Degree, whose ads received 17.2% of all clicks on the 109 non-branded deodorant keywords, followed by Dove and Axe with a 16% and 15% click share, respectively. Unilever’s Suave captured a 3.9% click share as well.
Procter & Gamble brands also figured prominently among the top deodorant advertisers. P&G’s Secret gained an 11.3% click share on the deodorant keyword group, followed by Gillette (11.1%) and Old Spice (4.1%).
Four deodorant manufacturers promoting natural or organic deodorants, free of ingredients like aluminum and parabens, were among the most clicked advertisers, although to a lesser extent than the traditional brands mentioned above. Those include Empower School & Farm (2.1% click share), Lavanila (1.6%), Honest (1.5%) and Schmidt’s (1.2%).
Lastly, Certain Dri, an antiperspirant and deodorant specialty brand for consumers suffering from excessive sweating and Amazon, the only pure retailer among the top advertisers, each generated a 1.6% click share.
All other advertisers sponsoring the keyword group generated a click share of less than 1% during the period (and fall into the ‘Other’ section depicted in the chart above).
Note: The results of the studies discussed in this report are limited to U.S. Google desktop text ad activity on the respective keyword groups studied. Advertisers may be sponsoring additional keywords that, if measured, would alter the findings of this report.