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Shorter, smarter, sweeter. Welcome to the .uk.

Positioning

The internet landscape is changing – from 2014, over 1,400 new gTLDs (that’s generic top level domains) will launch. Until now, most websites in Britain have ended with ‘.co.uk’ but Nominet tasked BEAR with introducing a new domain: ‘.uk’. Before we could tackle the launch campaign, we needed to make sense of the family of domains ending with ‘.uk’, so we clearly defined the four most popular ones with individual purposes and propositions, whilst giving them identities to demonstrate that they were clearly related products.

Proposition

‘Shorter is sweeter’ 
Making things shorter is something ever present in technology, and in common parlance. We took this simple idea that perfectly represents the difference and main benefit of this new domain name, and created a strikingly stripped-back advertising campaign using well-used technological acronyms. The full meaning of most of these were not so well-known, creating some intrigue and reward for the audience.

Personality

Branding something intangible can be tricky, particularly when it’s something that people don’t necessarily imagine requiring a logo or an identity. Extensive research told us that we needed to keep the identity for .uk minimalistic, but it was also important to represent its modernity. The sharing symbol alluded to in the ‘k’ does this, whilst the arc around the logo helps to emphasise the dot, and therefore the product itself. This enabled us to create a brand family with identities for the sibling products (.co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk to name a few), giving each a distinct tone of voice relevant to their core audience.

For the .uk launch, we took ‘shorter is sweeter’ to an impactful out-of-home campaign in London, taking over Edgware Road & Paddington stations, and featuring across digital animation panels throughout Central London. The campaign really came to life online though – strategic media booking by 7Stars maximised impact with pre-rolls across relevant programming, which ensured that we targeted exactly the digital natives and online pioneers that .uk is made for. And our website for the family, agreatplacetobe.uk was designed to flex so that whilst the launch was underway, our creative campaign could be front and centre. 

Result

Supported by a rather high-profile first resident in Stephen Fry, the .uk launch performed fantastically well – more than 50,000 .uk domains were registered within the first 24 hours, making it one of the fastest selling domain releases on record. Brands such as Sainsbury’s, Bentley and Burberry were all quick to sign up, and the numbers have only been growing since.

BEAR + Nominet

  • Brand strategy
  • Brand identity
  • Brand guidelines
  • Advertising campaign:
    out of home and online
  • Launch animations
  • Website UX & wireframes
  • Website design
  • Website build (partner)

Partner credit

Animation partner: Motion Picture House