Google is running what it calls a “small experiment” in the US to show giant banner ads for specific branded search queries.
The screenshot below posted by @SynrgyHQ shows a sponsored ad for Southwest Airlines on the branded search query [southwest airlines].
It doesn’t appear easy to replicate this test, but Google has confirmed that it is occurring. The ad takes up a substantial portion of the page, and no other ads appear on the page. Here’s a screenshot from today of a search results page for the query [southwest airlines]. Notice the non-brand, standard AdWords text ads from CheapOair and Chase credit cards.
After the brand results for www.southwest.com, the traditional organic listings actually seem to appear in about the same spot on the page as they do when the giant ad is displayed in the test screenshot. It’s the competing AdWords ads that lose out to the branded ad banner.
More Brand Banner Ads Found In The Wild