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, reports TechCrunch. 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.
Driving into work this morning, I saw an advertisement on the back of a city bus, pictured here. The domain name caught my eye, more than anything because I couldn’t seem to figure out what it actually said.
My first impression was that it was HamRadio.com, or perhaps HNMRadio.com. Neither was correct; the first domain hosts a site that sells ham radios and the second is not registered. As it turns out, the domain pictured here is actually HMMRadio.com. According to the website, the HMM stands for Hometown Media & Marketing. Unfortunately, the site does not offer much in the way of content (none of the links work) and I was unable to find any information on Hometown Media & Marketing.
Clearly, the company has invested in the HMM Radio endeavor, at least enough to advertise it on the back of a very public bus. So I’m finding it hard to understand why it chose a design that obscures that domain name to the point where it’s nearly illegible.
If an average person, sitting in traffic behind a bus, can’t read your domain name, then he or she will never be able to use it to reach your content online. Domains are an integral part of a strong marketing strategy, but they can only be successful when they are properly communicated to the public. If you happen to get a great domain, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by displaying it in a way that people can’t decipher.