McDonald's registered the domain name UnsnobbyCoffee.com about one year ago in 2007. It has now launched a website under this two-word generic domain, using it for a local marketing campaign targeted at the Seattle area. In Seattle, McDonald's hasn't really been able to break into this lucrative market yet, which is still heavily dominated by Starbucks.
Not only do I like McDonald's' local marketing efforts, including stylish coffee trucks and giveaways, but I also like their UnsnobbyCoffee.com website and domain name. Although this is no Coffee.com (that domain is owned by Peet's Coffee & Tea), it is still a nice semi-generic domain the company is now using to establish its McCafé brand name in that particular area. It delivers a better message than the brand domain names McCafeSeattle.com or McDonaldsSeattle.com could ever do, in my opinion. McDonald's has chosen a domain that is both descriptive and brandable, hence making it perfect for the corporation to grow its business.
Just as local advertising is getting increasingly important on the Internet, it also offers great opportunities offline. Marketing campaigns specifically targeted at smaller local markets can be designed to achieve more positive responses than broad nationwide campaigns. The Internet, in turn, does not only grow along with the local advertising dollars rolling in, but above all it is the very tool that has made local advertising easier and more efficient than ever before, even making it affordable to small businesses, too.
That's one reason why local advertising companies like Marchex.com hold great value in their hands. If those companies hold a quality domain portfolio consisting of generic and geocentric domain names on top of their cutting-edge technology in order to support their clients' marketing campaigns, as Seattle-based Marchex has been doing for a long time, I'm sure they will continue to grow and succeed not only in the near future but for a long time to come.