Marketing

Here is .NYC: How The Big Apple Can Use Its New TLD To Entice Tourists – And Why Its Economy May Depend On It

The Mayor of New York City recently announced that .NYC had been approved as a new, geographic top-level domain (TLD) by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). As Mayor Bloomberg explained in a press release, “Having our own unique, top-level domain – .NYC – puts New York City at the front of the digital landscape and creates new opportunities for our small businesses.”

Consulting firm NYC & Company subsequently released a report on the economic significance of the tourism industry in New York City. As Newsday reported, “George Fertitta, NYC & Company’s CEO, said his team created the report not only to show the candidates how important tourism is for the city’s economy — it got a boost of $55.3 billion last year from the industry — but also to cultivate ideas for how to expand it.”

Good timing? I think so.

As a hotbed of creativity and productivity, the setting of countless novels, plays, and movies, home to the United Nations, not to mention the world’s financial, publishing, art, dance, theater, and fashion centers, New York City is more than a city – it’s a brand (as the I ♥ NY campaign by Milton Glaser has both proved and solidified). Or, as E.B. White puts it in his classic 1949 essay “Here is New York”, the Big Apple is “nothing like Paris; it is nothing like London; and its not Spokane multiplied by sixty, or Detroit multiplied by four.  It is by all odds the loftiest of cities.”

NYC

.NYC is coming!

New York City is famous for its Chinatown, but also boasts communities of immigrants from all over the world.  Now a range of communities and ethnic groups – from Jamaicans in Brooklyn to Greeks in Queens to Orthodox Jews in the Bronx – can establish space within the cyber melting pot of .NYC. In terms of the impact on tourism, according to Newsday’s article, “The largest increase in tourists came from international visitors, with 11 million non-Americans coming into the city last year versus 7.26 million in 2006.”  Within .NYC, the city has endless opportunities to tailor websites to specific nationalities of both residents and visitors.

Then, of course, there are the various districts and streets of Manhattan, each associated with its own industry:

MADISON AVENUE: ADVERTISING
GARMENT DISTRICT: FASHION
TIMES SQUARE: THEATER
MEATPACKING DISTRICT: CLUBS, GALLERIES
SOHO: RESTAURANT WEEK

And, finally, there are the institutions, from the United Nations to New York University, the 92nd Street Y to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. For .NYC, the possibilities for innovative communication, promotion, and community engagement are endless. Perhaps best of all, though, with the open frontier of .NYC comes extra assurance that Internet users will reach legitimate New York City-related content.

Why?

In order to receive a .NYC domain name, organizations and businesses will need to have a New York City address and individuals must be residents; in addition, .NYC has trademark and cybersquatting safeguards in place. The Mets, Yankees, and Knicks could redirect their existing .COM domains to .NYC, where fans could be sure that they’re reaching legitimate content and purchasing original gear (and anyone who’s walked around near Canal Street knows that consumers in the city could use some extra protection when it comes to trademarks).

Again, E.B. White summed up the city best: “New York is the concentrate of art and commerce and sport and religion and entertainment and finance, bringing to a single compact arena the gladiator, the evangelist, the promoter, the actor, the trader and the merchant.” The .NYC TLD has the potential to – and very likely will – become the cyber concentrate of White’s New York City.

Interested in learning more? Visit mydotnyc.com.  Have questions about new gTLDs and registering your business’ websites within one? Contact us and a consultant will get back to you within 24 hours.

Marketing

For Love of Bacon

With Father’s Day fast approaching, Oscar Mayer is encouraging moms, kids, and other loved ones to tell the dad in their lives just how special he is…with bacon. Finally, an answer to the images of velvet-boxed cuff links – the velvet-boxed packages of bacon that promise to deliver quality on the Four C’s. No, not cut, clarity, color, and carat; this time it’s about, cut, color, cure and consistency.

There are three options for gift packages between $22 and $28. In addition to the velvet box of bacon, The Woodsman also comes with a multi-tool; The Matador, comes with bacon-shaped cuff links; and The Commander comes with a money-clip with a bacon insignia. You can only get the gifts on SayItWithBacon.com – the perfect domain name for the clever campaign. A great example of how a great ad campaign and digital real estate go hand in hand.

The gifts of bacon would work for your beloved – guy or girl – for any special occasion, but you must make the purchase before July 1.

I’m just upset that this didn’t come out a week earlier.  I would have gotten one for my husband for our anniversary! His love of bacon even made it into his best man’s wedding toast, so the gift would have been a nice callback. At least I can still send him a note with an illustration of his favorite treat: SayItWithBacon.com also gives you six (free) options of e-cards to send.

Marketing

A Sweet Conclusion

A recent kerfuffle around Italian chocolate and confectionery producer Ferrero SpA and fan Sara Rosso is the latest example of how important it is for companies to consider carefully the domain and user names they decided to reclaim. Sometimes, enforcing trademark rights online can go really wrong, really quickly.

In 2007, Ms. Rosso chose February 5 to be “World Nutella Day” – a time when “Nutella Lovers Unite for One Day!” She built a web presence around Nutella Day that included a nutelladay.com website.

Nutelladay.com did everything a brand could hope for from a brand advocate: It encouraged people to go out and buy Nutella to use in scores of listed recipes; it created awareness of the brand and its fan-base by giving tips on how to get involved with and spread the word on World Nutella Day; and it created a strong emotional bond with the brand, giving people a place to share stories about the first time they tried the chocolate/hazelnut spread.

It is powerful stuff. Browsing through the site made me nostalgic about my Polish grandmother, who introduced me to Nutella when I visited her one summer in Bytom, a small city in the southern part of Poland, about an hour’s drive from the Czech Republic. She hoped it was close enough to the peanut butter that I ate in the U.S. Oh boy, that made me one happy 8-year-old.

Ms. Rosso’s campaign not only had a great web presence, it came from a loyal fan who dedicated some spare time to promote a product she loved.

Then, in a bizarre move, Ferrero issued a cease-and-desist letter to Ms. Rosso, who said she would comply. That sparked a public battering of Ferrero in publications such as The Huffington PostMashable, Business Insider, and Adweek. Reversing itself, Ferrero stopped legal action against Ms. Rosso and began backtracking.

Adweek reported that the brand called the incident “a routine procedure in defense of trademarks.” But it moved quickly to undo the damage it had done. The company expressed “its sincere gratitude to Sara Rosso for her passion for Nutella, which extends gratitude to all the fans of the World Nutella Day” and noted that the brand is “lucky to have a fan of Nutella so devoted and loyal as Sara Rosso.” Ms. Rosso posted the update on NutellaDay.com, and noted that Ferrero had been “gracious and supportive.”

But you know this story will become a case study in how not to pursue trademarks online. The lesson for companies to learn is that when considering a list of domain names to reclaim, marketing, trademark, and domain name experts should all be in the room together to discuss the risks and benefits based on a number of important criteria – one of which, missed in this Nutella case, is, how harmful is the content on the domain name in question?

Marketing

Apple Launches Vanity URLs for Apps

There’s no bigger stage to unveil a new offering than a Super Bowl commercial, and Apple took advantage of its prime inclusion during the telecast by unveiling a new vanity URL service, reportsTechCrunch. If you blinked, you might have missed it, but during the final seconds of the Star Trek Into Darkness trailer, the URL AppStore.com/StarTrekApp flashed across the bottom of the screen.

This reveal signified the launch of a new service for all app developers in either the iTunes App Store or the Mac App Store. All developers will now receive personalized vanity URLs related to the app submitted as chosen by Apple. Apple updated its developer documentation on January 31 to reflect the change, which will allow brands to give consumers these new URLs to directly access apps.

With Apple nearing one million apps, the question of name overlap comes into play. In this case, users will be directed to a search page displaying all of the apps that match the generic term.

The domain name AppStore.com was a gift from Salesfoce CEO Marc Benioff to late Apple visionary Steve Jobs. It could prove increasingly valuable if brands decide to take advantage of these new URLs in upcoming marketing campaigns.

Marketing

Your Domain, My Name

We talk a lot about domain name sales, but what about actual name sales? One Florida man decided to link the two by auctioning his last name off to the highest bidder for a full year. Jason Sadler, who owns and operates a successful marketing firm through which companies pay him to wear their names and logos on t-shirts, took personal branding one step further when he sold his last name toHeadsets.com for $45,500 for the year.

On January 1, he will legally change his name to Jason Headsets.com, a move that he has documented in detail on his website (where he also explains that he will donate a portion of the proceeds to charity). He hosted the auction and chronicled the process, which resulted in bids from 25 different companies, on BuyMyLastName.com. Ultimately, Headsets.com and PawnUp.com duked it out until the final moments of the auction, until the former won the bid.

Mike Faith, CEO of Headsets.com (which sells, you guessed it, headsets for telephones and other devices), explained to CNN Money that the decision to participate in the auction was an easy one. Calling the purchase a “one-year inexpensive gamble,” he said that $45,000 is “not expensive for the marketing value,” considering that Faith’s company generates $30 million in sales each year.

The sale and the press it has already generated will surely result in additional visitors to the company’s website. The sale involves very little work for either party and is another example of creative marketing of domain names that could inspire similar stunt marketing by other firms.