Heads up, this content is 14 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

I commute to work on the MUNI (San Francisco’s municipal transit) and the BART (the bay area’s rapid transit), which means I see all the train station billboard ads. I have to admit, of all the ads I see in a day, these tend to be the best. And here’s a trend I’m seeing on the more successful ones: they include a new web address that starts with an action.

For example…

And the common threads…

  • With the exception of the first one on this list, you can’t always tell exactly what company is being advertised by looking at the URL.
  • The website is interactive and community-oriented.
  • The website is NOT the official company website.

And what are the benefits of this for the company?

  • There’s a good chance all the noun-based URLs they’d want to use are taken. Verbs are the next frontier.
  • By sending people to a campaign-specific website, they can monitor their campaign’s site traffic ROI without any confusion.
  • They’re being hip and sexy. Not everyone’s caught on to this strategy yet. The curious are going to check it out.

And what does this mean for the rest of us?

  • It’s okay to start using actions in your URLs. Starbucks is doing it. People will get it now.
  • Domain name opportunists may want to start looking into likely action-based URLs related to big companies. I misremembered “letsmeetatstarbucks” and instead tried meetmeatstarbucks.com . It took me to http://www.bixbymusic.com. Nice work, guys.
  • Billboard-to-web community-oriented marketing is being adapted with high visibility. Web 2.0 marketers, raise your rates!
Heads up, this content is 14 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

Useful…

“People commit to a sale for three reasons, in this order: The first is chemistry — they have to like you. The second is your ability to solve their problem. The third is price.”

— Our Director of Strategy

Entertaining…

One of our clients turned to me at lunch and said, “You’re probably too young to remember the animated GIF, aren’t you?”