Josh Bourne ⬥ 25 August
If and when it comes time for businesses to decide whether to apply for their own gTLD or register domain names in other new gTLDs, one question marketers will have to ask is how they will spread the word about new domain names. Specifically, how will they persuade Internet users to type new combinations into their browser bars, as opposed to sticking with standard forms like .COM, .CO.JP and .FR?
Here’s another question: if and when marketers do accomplish that goal, how will new gTLDs affect the way everyday people perceive certain messaging? It stands to reason that once Internet users get used to seeing a variety of words or phrases to the right of the dot, they will begin to perceive any word.word construction as a possible domain name.
I thought of this because I recently saw a Sony ad that featured the slogan “Make.Believe,” pronounced “make-dot-believe”. (The accompanying website is sony.com/makedotbelieve and Sony also owns makedotbelieve.com, although it currently doesn’t point to the campaign site.) Because I regularly deal in (and constantly think about) domain names, I thought it sounded like a domain name, and wondered if Sony had plans to apply for a .BELIEVE gTLD.
I’m willing to bet that right now, most people who see the campaign do not interpret “Make.Believe” as a possible domain name. But if the proposed flood of TLDs become reality, then five or ten years from now, once they become accustomed to seeing anything.anything advertised as a website, they just might interpret it that way. If Sony plans to continue the “Make.Believe” campaign beyond the next few years, and ICANN’s unpopular plan becomes reality, I wonder if they will look into securing the .BELIEVE TLD – not only to create the make.believe domain, but perhaps to extend “Believe” to customers who could offer loyalty in exchange for personal websites and email addresses.