The Ad Association Assualt Against gTLDs, Part 1


ADOTAS – The unison attack by the world’s most powerful groups of agencies against ICANN’s new gTLD domain name program must not be taken lightly. After all, these global bodies represent the real persuaders of emotions.

They influence our taste, habits and behavior, like mix of cereal, length of the skirts, width of ties all the way to commercials and reality shows that teach us how to role play in cubicles or dance at weddings. They are the advertisers, public relationists, market researchers and logo-slogan centric magicians. They have successfully taught us commercialization and modernism, always showed us brighter and colorful ways but currently in throws with reckless hyper-consumerism going through some depressive tumultuous times.

What they not see in the ICANN’s new gTLD domain name system and what these nostalgic Mad Men so afraid off? Is it really that fear factor? The gTLD issues over years have percolated broiled and roasted around the world in huge open public grilling. Why now so suddenly the spring of opposition demanding regime change at best?

In Support of Opposition

Some of the panic buttons for top established brands and their agencies are the eruption of “name fortifications.” For example, a Telco acquires “dot cell,” “dot mobile,” “dot call” etc. and fortifies their current brand while creating a barrage of digital campaigns against a particular well-established name brand.

In the right hands, a gTLD is surely a game changer. Imagine the colorful maze where hundreds of mega brands create their own “brand new stars” and set the stage where galaxies start to collide. Sure, this may happen as it did when the first domain names were introduced. Old established brands were pulled out along with the roots. So many sectors got changed or wiped out overnight while far too many blossomed. As a global cyber-name brand marketing weapon, a gTLD can provide very powerful action.

The other issue is for holders of “mega-dot-com-brands” about the emergence of “better and sharper dot brand names” with wider capability to expand on “customer touch points.” Truly, what will happen if,, or were confronted with a better dot brand name with more magic that directly threatened their base while replicating profusely with unlimited sub-name-brands around the world? A gTLD is the fastest and cheapest for assembling the right combination to expand the base and catapult into the stratosphere.

ICANN took years to build this program but only allocated few months for the advertisers to sort all this out. But on the other hand, what if agencies were asked 20 years ago to accept the domain name? The fear factor would be equally immense as early domain names too crushed the very old and most cherished models.

The domain names rapidly evolved all by themselves without any advertising campaign and quickly engulfed the world without mercy. Although they changed the landscape but overall created wonders for the world at large, the magic is still unfolding every second as we live in a digitally mobile and interconnected world.

Irrespective it makes a great topic for the boardrooms as Jan. 12, 2012, comes closer. On this date ICANN will accept applications of proposed names from around the world? The global race is on and we need to explore the key issues.

Read part 2 of Naseem Javed’s commentary here.



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