Whatever happened to the Dotster Dots?
There have been a lot of bad stunts, publicity attempts, and ads put out by domain name registrars. But one of them stands out as perhaps the worst of all time: The Dotster Dots.
Dotster was one of the first discount domain name registrars, but has languished through the last decade while watching Go Daddy take home the crown. In 2006, Dotster took a look at what had happened in the domain name industry since 2000 and saw that Go Daddy was killing it. How? It must be the Go Daddy girls, some marketer thought.
And so began Dotster’s ill advised “me too” campaign, called the Dotster Dots. The company put out a press release and open auditions for female spokespersons who would be called “Dotster Dots” instead of “Go Daddy Girls”.
If you’re going to copy someone, you should at least try to do a better job than they did. But Dotster’s promotion looked like amateur hour. Talk of the Dotster Dots disappeared quickly, as if someone at Dotster realized how dumb it was making them look and made an executive decision to cut its losses quickly after announcing the winners. Now all that’s left is the DotsterDots.com domain name, which forwards to Dotster.com
Of course, attempts to copy Go Daddy’s successful commercials haven’t stopped. At least Crazy Domains hired an A-list name for its knock-off.
What Dotster and other copycats don’t realize is that the “hot models” thing isn’t some plug-n-play method to sell lots of domains. Next thing you know the founder of one of these competitors is going to start hunting elephants in Africa, thinking that must be the key to success.
It takes a lot more than that. Have you noticed how every mobile phone that tries to compete with the iPhone looks just like the iPhone? Whereas Apple tried something new, everyone else is just trying to copy it rather than come up with its own creative solution.
It’s the same thing with video games right now. Nintendo came out with the Wii, and then its two competitors decided they must have some sort of motion controller. Rather than think outside the box like Nintendo did, they’re all playing catchup.
Good luck with that.