Like many of the ventures I have launched over the years, the idea for Hollywoozy, my site where I would review movie domain names, came to me out of the blue.
At the time, I thought it would be both fun and educational to use movie domain names (the good and the bad) as a springboard to discuss what makes a good marketing domain name.
I also wanted to create an outlet to share my amusement and frustration with the idiotic domain names chosen by the marketers of movies.
I feel that I accomplished both those objectives, and the reaction to Hollywoozy has been very positive.
Since launching the site, I have had the opportunity to discuss movie domain names with studio executives, filmmakers, marketing folks, and intellectual property lawyers. In doing so, I gained a deeper understanding of why most Hollywood movies end up with less-than-ideal domain names. It was an eye-opening experience.
Here are some of the reasons why movie domains are the way they are (and won't likely change anytime soon):
Since the bulk of a typical Hollywood movie's marketing dollars are spent on traditional, offline media (mainly television and print), the online marketing component is given low priority, little attention, and relatively tiny budgets. Finding and obtaining the best domain name is not seen as a priority, and any money spent on purchasing the domain name(s) will come out of the already squeezed budget for the movie's Website.
Many movie marketers refuse to deal with domain investors who might already own the ideal domain name. It's become almost a matter of principle that Hollywood would rather pay $10 and register a brand new but inferior movie domain name than pay someone else $500 for a much better domain name. Hollywood feels it has been 'burned' too often by cybersquatters (or what Hollywood perceives as cybersquatters) and wants nothing to do with even the legitimate domain resale market.
Because the online marketing of a movie is treated as a low priority, there is little to no measurement done, which means there are few opportunities for the powers to be to learn how having a better domain name would impact their overall success.
Since the main focus of Hollywood movie marketing is to generate buzz and put bums in seats for the movie's opening weekend, most of the marketing activities are geared towards that tiny window of time. Having a better domain name is not seen as having much of an impact on this either.
The studios don't really care that they don't have the perfect domain name. They figure that because they will be spending millions to market whatever domain name they do have, they will still get tons of traffic to the movie's Website. And they also figure that the search engines and popular movie portals like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb will also drive organic traffic as well.
Having learned all of this, I have decided it is pointless of me to keep making fun of Hollywood and its often silly choice of movie domain names. If anything, I've become very forgiving of Hollywood and its domain name foibles. I know the domain names are lame. You know the domain names are lame. And, yes, Hollywood knows the domain names are lame as well.
Since this situation isn't likely to ever change, and since I have a long list of ideas for other ventures I want to turn into reality, there will be no more updates to Hollywoozy.
I've had a ball creating and updating Hollywoozy, I've loved the discussions and learning and relationships that have flowed out of it, and I hope its visitors enjoyed reading it.
That's a wrap.
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. Bill has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years.
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Really interesting article, I had no idea how hard it was for online movie promotions - I just assumed they had all the money in the world to spend! Shame you won't be updating the site but I understand and agree why! :-)
Posted by: Werbeartikel | January 19, 2010 at 05:30 AM
I agree online advertising and promotion for movies is minimal so why not allow use of them, great post btw.
Posted by: Clare Bay | May 11, 2010 at 09:57 AM