CIRA’s Domain Squad wants to make Canada’s web businesses .CA again

Who: The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), with Giants & Gentlemen and Push Media.

What: “Make your website true north strong,” a follow-up to last year’s “Don’t be a traitor” campaign reminding Canadian businesses of the benefits of using a .ca domain name for their website. It’s built around four 15-second video spots: “Domain name of thrones,” “Put it on the net,” “A winning hand” and “Bear necessities.”

When & Where: The broadcast component is running in greater Toronto and Vancouver from Sept. 14 until Nov. 8. The ads will also appear on streaming services and digital TV, complemented by a social media component.

Why: It’s a continuation of a multi-year effort by CIRA to get Canadians to register their business using a .ca domain name, which the organization says can help ensure customer loyalty and purchase intent, while also being among the safest domains on the net.

How: This year’s campaign features individual members of the Domain Squad at “.ca Headquarters” deep in the Canadian wilderness, delivering key statistics about why .ca domain names are so important to businesses (eg: 77% of Canadians associate Canadian businesses with .ca, and Canadian shoppers are four times more likely to choose a .ca website over a .com).

The whole campaign is steeped in Canadian imagery, from one member of the Domain Squad sitting on a throne made of hockey sticks and holding a stuffed Canada Goose, to another clad in old-timey hockey equipment. Oh, and there are also bears (see all four videos below).

The numbers: According to CIRA, last year’s campaign—which also included a witty stock art play—resulted in a 22% increase in new domain registration share and a 20% jump in unaided awareness.

CIRA says that a total of 54,129 .ca domain names were registered in May, a 38% increase over the previous year and the largest single month for .ca registrations since the organization was established in1998.

And we quote: “The Domain Squad concept was born more than two years ago as a multi-year creative journey that would take the .ca brand to new heights. We are thrilled to see how the concept has evolved each year, and are excited to see how Canadians react to the squad’s latest adventures.” — David Fowler, vice president, marketing and communications, Canadian Internet Registration Authority

Chris Powell