With well over 1000 new Top Level Domains up and running now there are all sorts of possibilities to create seemingly novel URLs that leverage the meaning to the right-of-the-dot.
However, you have to be careful. The plethora of new TLDs adds confusion to the mix, especially when you are using them in the offline world as Call-To-Action URLs. For a CTA URL to work, it has to be immediately recognizable as being an URL.
Our example today, isn’t. The reason is that .degree isn’t widely known as a new Top Level Domain. I didn’t know it existed until I saw this ad and I’m neck deep in this business. When I saw it I was wondering if it was a new TLD or a punctuation error.
They would be better off having used sheridandegree.ca which was available as I typed this and immediately recognizable as a web address and easily memorable (for added safety just grab the .com as well).
To make the original idea work they would need to make it visually apparent that sheridan.degree is a web address, perhaps by putting it into this ad as literally:
Even if the “http://” was smaller, fainter or otherwise diminished but still readily apparent that it’s a web address you can type into your browser.