The internet domain registrar's initiative, in association with Public Interest Registry, is to raise awareness about the .org domain and the values it stands for.
It can be safely assumed that the mention of a website inevitably brings to mind 'dot com' or, as is popular, '.com'. So much so that one often refers to the 'dot com boom' and almost never a 'dot org boom' or a 'dot net boom'. While not getting into the nitty-gritty of top-level domains (TLD), it is understood that every domain name carries a certain perception about it in the layman's mind and just a '.com' or a '.net' gives an idea of the nature of the business that owns the website.
BigRock, an internet domain registrar in India, has come up with an initiative advocating the .org domain. Associating with Public Interest Registry (PIR), manager of the generic TLD .org, its latest campaign attempts to educate masses about the availability of .org among other largely open TLDs that are believed to communicate trust, integrity, credibility and a global image for any commercial brand.
As per a recent study conducted by PIR, it was found that an average internet user is likely to trust or value the information provided on a .org website.
"The actual picture is different. There are political websites, websites of businesses and organisations with the .org domain. It is really an open domain and there is wide diversity," adds Gofus.
Currently, with more than 9.8 million domain names under management, .org is the preferred domain for many regulatory bodies and community-oriented services, including charitable, artistic, scientific, personal, educational, social, cultural and religious sites. Small wonder, then, that internet users have a certain idea that .org websites stand for certain values such as honesty and high credibility.
"There are certain values associated with .org. Standing by those very values, we are trying to break a perception with this campaign. We are saying that these values are needed for every business and this domain could represent any organisation. We want to convey the message that even commercial companies with .org websites can be devoted to build instant trust and credibility with users," says Bhavin Turakhia, founder, BigRock.
Turakhia says that the low awareness in India is expected, given the penetration of internet and websites, which has been trailing compared to developed countries such as United States of America, UK and Germany.
He says that India is at a threshold stage where the internet penetration is poised to rise phenomenally and hence, the timing is appropriate to champion a cause such as this.
"We are in a transformative stage where internet is headed from being new media to mainstream media," states Turakhia.
According to numbers provided by PIR, .org is the third largest generic TLD in the world, after .com and .net. North America, with 64 per cent, is the largest contributor to .org registrations in the world, followed by Europe and APAC at 9 per cent each. India, interestingly, is the fourth largest contributor to APAC region in terms of .org registrations.
Led by two television commercials created by BigRock's creative agency, ideas@work, the campaign will exploit the online medium extensively to boost adoption of the .org domain by Indian businesses.
"What we have found with television is that the sort of message we can create is phenomenal. It has worked very well for us. We are taking a very Indian twist on social media, where we will invite people to get 'filmy with .org' asking them to contribute short films about whacky businesses. There will be a lot of user generated content online as a part of this campaign," says Shashank Mehrotra, business head, BigRock.
The TVCs for the campaign will remind viewers of the ones that were a part of BigRock's integrated campaign launched early last year.
Following the humour route, the TVCs use the same property as the old commercials - one of unusual businesses and their websites.
The first commercial features an aglet (sheaths used on ends of a shoelace) manufacturer, while the second shows an election-ink business. However, this time, the message that a commercial business stands for integrity, honesty and trust rings clear through the films, with each ending with the message that the business is not just a company but an organisation.
Talking to afaqs!, Zarvan Patel, founder, ideas@work, says, "The .org domain is a different animal usually reflected with large institutions. We look to encourage businessmen with the idea that one day their company will become a lot larger, an organisation."
Fitting the brief into the BigRock values, the agency hung on to the old thought - Got a business? Get a website. However, the latter part of the thought has now changed to 'Get a .org website', Patel adds.
The campaign is a part of the Rs 10 crore marketing budget that BigRock earmarks for itself every calendar year. Mehrotra says that along with television and online, there will be other engaging activities around the idea that will be conducted in association with PIR.
Mediacom handles BigRock's media buying duties, while the social media activities are primarily designed internally.