Registering batches of domain names is seen by large businesses as a way to protect intellectual property and prevent “cybersquatters” from hijacking their brand names. Some brands however use domain names as a way of generating low key hype for new products and services, or to simply create some new interest in their brand.
Facebook recently registered 21 new domain names around their “Instagram Direct” product in a move labelled by some experts as an “offensive” designed to protect their brand. Facebook are taking a traditional approach to protecting their brand by nabbing domains that look similar to their product.
Last week the registration of two domain names around the theme of a Sonic the Hedgehog movie sparked interest in the imminent announcement of such a film. The Sonic move is different to Facebook’s because a new cartoon series is expected to launch some time next autumn. Despite being 9 months away, the domain name registration has already got people excited about the prospect of a new movie, long before any official announcement. As a result, a number of online discussions speculating about the new movie have sprung up on bulletin boards and social media.
With prices starting around £10 per year, domain name registrations represent a relatively cheap way to generate interest in a yet-to-be-released product. Obviously domain registrations should not be the only marketing tool used to advertise a new product, but they can play a part in generating early interest.
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