I commute to work on the MUNI (San Francisco’s municipal transit) and the BART (the bay area’s rapid transit), which means I see all the train station billboard ads. I have to admit, of all the ads I see in a day, these tend to be the best. And here’s a trend I’m seeing on the more successful ones: they include a new web address that starts with an action.
- http://www.goruneasy.com (or http://www.cravethepain.com )
- http://www.showmeriskier.com (or http://www.showmesexier.com or http://www.showmecrazier.com or a whole slew of others)
And the common threads…
- With the exception of the first one on this list, you can’t always tell exactly what company is being advertised by looking at the URL.
- The website is interactive and community-oriented.
- The website is NOT the official company website.
And what are the benefits of this for the company?
- There’s a good chance all the noun-based URLs they’d want to use are taken. Verbs are the next frontier.
- By sending people to a campaign-specific website, they can monitor their campaign’s site traffic ROI without any confusion.
- They’re being hip and sexy. Not everyone’s caught on to this strategy yet. The curious are going to check it out.
And what does this mean for the rest of us?
- It’s okay to start using actions in your URLs. Starbucks is doing it. People will get it now.
- Domain name opportunists may want to start looking into likely action-based URLs related to big companies. I misremembered “letsmeetatstarbucks” and instead tried meetmeatstarbucks.com . It took me to http://www.bixbymusic.com. Nice work, guys.
- Billboard-to-web community-oriented marketing is being adapted with high visibility. Web 2.0 marketers, raise your rates!