At least one big brand seems to have the same idea about “sucking” as the .sucks gTLD registry, even if it does not appear to own any .sucks domain names.
Three, which is currently the smallest of the UK’s four major mobile phone networks, is advertising its services using very similar messaging.
The fun 90-second commercial embedded below, featuring a Muppet, an old East 17 track, and quite a lot of dancing, ends with the slogan “When Stuff Sucks #makeitright” and the call-to-action “The mobile industry sucks. See how we’re making it right.”
Clicking through to the Three website, visitors see messages including “People think our network sucks. Guess what? We’re voted most reliable” and “Charging extra for 4G sucks. We don’t.”
The campaign was reportedly conceived by ad agency Wieden & Kennedy London. It’s been getting a fair bit of TV airtime over the last month.
This seems to substantiate something Vox Populi has been saying for the last 18 months: that “sucks” is not necessarily a hugely derogatory term any more, and in fact can be embraced by companies to engage with customers, challenge criticism and promote their brands.
That said, Three isn’t using any .sucks domains — three.sucks, makeitright.sucks and whenstuff.sucks do not appear to be registered.
Three, part of Hutchison Whampoa, is currently undergoing a merger with Telefonica-owned rival O2 which would create the largest UK mobile operator.