I think the domain name DontFear65.com is clever, but the call to action banner is poor execution (in my humble opinion). In the United States and perhaps elsewhere, 65 is the typical age at which many people aim to retire, and certain tax benefits are given. Symetra Financial is trying to convey that retirement isn’t something that potential customers need to fear.
The problem is that I saw this banner advertisement on a website I visit frequently, but for short periods of time, so it barely caught my attention. As I was clicking to another website, I glanced up at the huge 728×90 banner, and I read, “Don’t fear 65.com,” with the 65.com standing out the most. My first reaction was that it was cool a 2 digit numeric website was being advertised, and my second reaction was to type in 65.com, which didn’t resolve to any website.
I thought it was weird, so I went back to the site where I saw the banner and realized they were advertising DontFear65.com rather than 65.com. Although I am not a potential customer nor part of their target audience, my opinion doesn’t matter; however, there are probably people who thought the same thing, and they are sending traffic to 65.com.
The problem with call to action domain names is that they sometimes tell people to take action on other domain names. In my opinion, the worst offenders are CVBs (Convention & Visitors’ Bureaus) who were often so late to the party they had to settle with CTA domain names, such as VisitXYZ.com rather than XYZ,com. Many are also so full of themselves, they are unwilling to work with the owner of the XYZ .com domain name since they feel its their job to bring visitors to the area, rather than a team effort.
Call to action domain names aren’t so bad when they’re found in text links, but put them on a banner or billboard, and space the words apart, and you end up with a nice call to action for the other domain name. At best you lose traffic, and at worst you are building your competitors’ brand and traffic.