You knew it was bound to happen. In true open source fashion and crowd sourcing, Google is now calling their network blast technique a Google Surge - the phrase which yours truly coined back in the 2007 election when we (Connell Donatelli Inc) used it to help Bobby Jindal win the Governor's seat in Louisiana. Since that time, I can pretty much guarantee you that we've run more Google Surges than anyone else in the political space; don't get fooled if we (and I) don't talk about a Surge for a client.
Anyway, a nice summary of the Google Surge technique from Google's AdWords Agency blog can be found here. Personally, I'd be very interested to hear from non-political advertisers on how they've used a Google Surge to help with the marketing goals. Obviously it works great in politics because of the hard deadline we have, but I can also think of other uses for it outside of politics including financial services (IRA season ends on April 15), general brand awareness at a product launch, heck even during the holiday season (last chance to get a gift delivered in time for the holidays).
If you want more detail on how to run a Google Surge, see my original post - not only do I explain what it is I also give you some helpful tips. Anyway, glad to see Google is giving into my link baiting strategy (just joking) and started calling it a Surge.