With over 500 new gTLDs active online, both corporate brands and companies in the domain name industry are exploring different ways to raise awareness of these new Internet extensions among consumers.
In Fall 2013, 1&1 Domains, a registrar, aired what I believe to be the first foray into TV advertising for new gTLDs in order to encourage the public to “pre-register” domain names. This advertisement aired during multiple TV sporting events and the Emmys.
Since then, there have been a handful of advertising campaigns for new gTLDs –celebrity endorsement like 50 Cent using 50inda.club for his official fanpage, .NYC’s campaigns in New York City (such as this bus stop ad), and BNP Paribas promoting livingthechange.bnpparibas through tweets from various Twitter handles.
However within the past month, I’ve come across three instances of gTLDs in television and in the movie world:
- .REALTOR Ad
During the descent of my United flight this past weekend, an advertisement by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for the .REALTOR gTLD played on the screen in every seatback. The advertisement explains the concept of new gTLDs and why .REALTOR is a trustworthy space.
On HBO’s hit satirical series, Silicon Valley, Hooli, a fictional large Internet company, reveals its new division HooliXYZ with the website hooli.xyz (which contains fictional content based on the show!) to help Hooli win a lawsuit.
At the end of the official movie trailer for Self/less the domain name, www.outlive.life, is displayed to direct consumers to that webpage for more information.
Employing these familiar channels of advertising to expose consumers to new gTLDs will heighten awareness and understanding of the new space by consumers. Just how effective could this be?
Consider this; according to IMM International, an in-flight media specialist:
- 3/4 of long-haul passengers watch TV during flight
- Citing general behavior towards inflight TV, IMM notes that 68% of travellers watching TV try at least one new product after seeing its advertisement on TV
- 85% of all people interviewed remembered at least one ad, and 80% remember the name of the brand
Silicon Valley’s viewership averaged at 1.8 million when this episode aired (May 3) and the trailer for Self/less is just shy of 500,000 views on YouTube as of this writing. This all adds up to massive exposure for new gTLDs.
And with brands getting the ball rolling on consumer-facing sites, it looks like we’re at a critical point in gaining public awareness of new gTLDs.
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