I enjoy it when companies use out-of-the-box domains for branding and advertising campaigns, such as when I previously wrote about Dominos Pizza’s use of ThinkOven.com.
Today I saw that Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, is using the domain DoUsAFlavor.com as part of a new contest for their Lay’s brand potato chips, giving anyone the chance to create a new potato chip flavor, with a $1 million prize going to the lucky winner.
As was the case with Dominos use of ThinkOven.com, Frito-Lay is also forwarding the clever-sounding domain directly to an app on their Facebook fan page.
However, as you’ll note from the commercial above, unlike Dominos they are not actively promoting the domain itself, but instead are pushing users through a Facebook URL.
This seems to make the domain more of a defensive registration than anything else.
Also of interest here is that DoUsAFlavor.com had been formerly registered and dropped by at least two previous owners before finding its way into the hands of Frito-Lay. You can find the domain listed within the archives of two sites that publish data on expired domains, namely: DropWatch.com in 2002 and JustDropped.com in 2009.
There is no publicly reported sales history for the domain, so it is unknown whether Frito-Lay acquired it from another owner (and if so at what price) or whether it was available at the time of registration which the Whois record shows to be March 28, 2012.
Given the size of the end-user, this could have been a nice pay day for one of the previous owners had they not let it drop.
That brings us to the million dollar question: Is DoUsAFlavor.com the kind of domain you would have been willing to hold onto for 10+ years in hopes of a pay day?
For those that answered yes, I submit that you would have still had better odds of collecting a million dollar check from Frito-Lay by entering their contest than you would have through a sale of the domain. There are too many amateur domainers that might have stubbornly turned down a five or even six-figure offer on such a name falsely believing that because the end-user is so deep-pocketed that they must have the domain at any price.
On another note, Frito-Lay is also using the British-English version DoUsAFlavour.com for its European campaign under the Walker’s Potato Crisps brand name.