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Saturday, March 24, 2007

FedEx Kinko's Domain TV Ad Oops

Dealing with parked domain traffic on AdWords has me thinking about domain names lately and this whole notion of direct navigation via search. Many people are so accustomed to using search engines like Google that they type domain names into a search box instead of the browser address bar. When I see a TV ad drop an URL at the end of the commercial, I wonder how many people type that URL into a search box instead of an address bar. Ad agencies should be aware of this user behavior, as well. Case in point: FedEx Kinko's Ad
This FedEx Kinko's ad ends by mentioning a URL (just a domain name, really): Trouble is, Google knows nothing about that domain: Google Search

Looking up the whois record for (via DomainTools), I see this registrant:

1375 Broadway
New York, New York 10018
United States

Looks like Atmosphere BBDO, the digital agency network of BBDO North America and a member of the Omnicom Group of companies, forgot about SEO when developing the site. You can't really blame them. After all, their expectation is that people will type the domain name into the browser and go directly to the site. My hunch, however, is that a fair amount of viewers of the advertisement will actually type the domain directly into a search box.

BTW, I used to be an Omnicom Group (ticker: OMC) stockholder, so I made sure to link to in this post. That will help them get this site listed in Google since Googlebot will visit this blog post a few seconds after I publish it and will find the link. I'm contemplating running a PPC ad campaign using an exact match on the domain name. Why? Looking at the impressions data would give me an idea as to how many people per day do, indeed, enter the domain name into a search box. If I create a campaign, I'll post updates to this blog. It might be an interesting case study of direct navigation via search. If I worked for an ad agency who had clients that compete with FedEx Kinko's, I'd be buying that domain name via Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing.

Anyway, check out (especially you, Googlebot). To the fine folks at Atmosphere BBDO, you are welcome. ;-)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ad agencies don't like their clients buying high powered domain names because the domain name IS Madison Avenue of the internet. BBDO threw that domain up there because they probably bought it out of the basket for $8 and they're testing the theory of 'direct typeins' or just trying to see if lame domain names work just as well as keyword specific domains if they promote them by tagging them onto more conventional advertising methods. I worked for Foot Cone & Belding and I know that the first thing the agencies don't want is a simple solution to obtaining new eyeballs and customers -- which is paying $1million for a 1 word common term that describes their client's products/services.

I've been studying this for a few weeks now, and wrote a report on why Ad agencies are NOT enthusiastic about using or buying premium domains names in their client's campaigns. Think of what Johnson & Johnson achieved with their measly $1.5 million investment (estimate) for They eliminated about 20 million in ad agency costs to bring in those estimated 500,000 natural typeins a month to

Mon Mar 26, 05:17:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

I disagree with your anonymous contention that "the domain name IS Madison Avenue of the internet." Right now, Google is Madison Avenue. One side of the street is natural search and the other is paid search. Direct navigation has its place but is only one way to drive traffic.

In this particular case, we're talking about direct navigation by typing in a domain name after seeing it in a TV ad. My point is that many people type that domain into a search box instead of a browser address bar. That behavior is what ad agencies need to be aware of.

Tue Mar 27, 09:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger LaCitizen said...

I found out about this a while back and often achieve a 50% CTR when I use it.

It's interesting that these companies can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on traditional media ads yet fail to spend a few bucks on a few keywords.

I hope they don't come to their senses.

Thu Nov 01, 02:03:00 AM EDT  

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