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February 10th, 2016

Super Bowl 50 Ads Reimagined with New Top-Level Domains

american football player about to kick off

Marketers and advertisers across the world pay close attention to Super Bowl ads, for good reason.

At a cost of up to $5 million for a 30-second spot, Super Bowl ads represent the world’s biggest stage for high-reach, large-impact marketing. The best practices seen during the big game tend to set the standard across the industry and influence marketing behavior around the world.

The call to action used in any Super Bowl spot can make or break the investment. According to MarketingLand, domain names were prominently featured in 35 percent of the ads, second only to hashtags. This is a testament to the important role that domain names continue to play in the overall marketing mix—even with the popularity of social media, apps, and search.

While marketers drive conversations and engagement on social with hashtags, a brand’s website remains a vital point of interaction with consumers.

Domain Name Innovation

One way that domain names are increasingly relevant to marketers is the emerging opportunity for shorter, more meaningful naming options via the introduction of new top-level domains (TLDs). New naming options open up a whole new world of creativity and availability, while offering the ability to target more closely specific audiences with the benefit of increased consumer recall.

New top-level domains made their Super Bowl debut this past Sunday with the movie trailer for Gods of Egypt. The ad directed viewers to the memorable web address: www.godsofegypt.movie.

While Gods of Egypt was the only “not-com” domain name to be featured at the big game, it got me thinking about what “might have been” if some of the other brands had tapped into more creative domain naming options. 

Here are just a few Super Bowl domain names “reimagined” through a new top-level domain filter.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
What aired: www.teenagemutantninjaturtlesmovie.com
Alternative: www.tmnt.film

The next installment of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles screened an ad with one of the longest domain names you will ever see. Clocking in at a whopping 36 characters, it’s pretty hard on the eyes!

Film studios have long faced the challenge of domain name availability, with investors snapping up the domain names of future films well before they are ready to be released. However, there is now a new top-level domain solution with the team from Motion Picture Domain Registry positioning their .film namespace as the trusted and exclusive space online for blockbuster films.

So instead of a long, hard-to-spell and easy-to-forget domain name, why not make it easy for Ninja Turtle fans to quickly and easily find what they are looking for? Tmnt.film would have done the job nicely.

What aired: www.OICIsDifferent.com
Alternative: www.constipation.sucks

While not the most popular of topics, the team behind OICIsDifferent.com did a great job of producing an entertaining ad on a difficult subject. Unfortunately, the domain name used as a call to action is hard to read—and, I suspect, will be difficult for anyone to remember within seconds of viewing the ad. 

The producers of the spot could have easily extended the creativity used in the script and applied it to their domain name choice—while injecting a bit more humor into the topic.  I suspect that a clever call to action, like www.constipation.sucks, would definitely have captured America’s attention.

What aired: www.onup.com
Alternative: www.financial.security

Campaign domain names can be a creative way for brands to champion a cause and SunTrust has done a great job of building a terrific marketing campaign around the domain name, www.onup.com. While there is nothing inherently bad about this domain name, the availability of new top-level domains open up opportunities for marketers to add greater meaning and relevance to the right of the dot, which can work well for campaign domain names tied to specific industries or causes. For the onup campaign, I really love the domain financial.security. It gets right to the heart of the matter in a simple, memorable way.

Dollar Shave Club    
What aired: www.dollarshaveclub.com
Alternative: www.dollarshave.club

The Dollar Shave Club has the perfect opportunity to shorten their domain name and emphasize their community spirit with a .club domain name. In fact, WHOIS records show they are one of the 700,000 plus registrants that already own their .club domain name.

The suggestions above are just my thoughts on how these brands could add some new top-level domain creativity to their Super Bowl call to action. With hundreds of new naming choices now available, there are countless possibilities for marketers to innovate with domain names.

Have you got a creative domain name suggestion you’d like to add to the mix? Did you see another Super Bowl ad domain name or hashtag that could be improved with a new top-level domain? Share your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter: @NeustarTLDs.

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