Yesterday night I went through all my adwords listings and increased the maximum bid I was willing to pay to about $5 or $6. When I tried searching for one of my criteria targets, I was surprised to see my ad show up as one of the pastel-colored horizontal strips reserved for "premium sponsorships" -- not one of the rectangular ads on the right side of the screen. I tried a couple more criteria and saw the same phenomena. The next morning I tried again and most of my ads had been demoted to the right side rectangles, but there were still a few (and still some right now) that appeared as horizontal "premium sponsorships". I've never actually signed up for the premium package.
Is this a new thing, or have people known about it before?
On a related, but different topic, I had contacted Google about the premium sponsorships before and was sent a form email about them costing a minimum of $5000/month and suggesting I contact a representative at Google. I never emailed them, and despite the fact that I had expressed interest in this expensive service, they never followed up with a sales call. Does this strike you as not very business-savvy? Perhaps they can afford it... for now.
I think someone mentioned of this phenomenon. If your bid is 1st or 2nd and there were no sponsors for that, it is likely to appear in the horizontal bar ... As the business savvy that you have not received a call ..., I tend to think that is savvy. They provided you with info and you have not responded back and personally I would prefer dealing with a business that does not call me UNLESS I specifically asked them to do!