Driving into work this morning, I saw an advertisement on the back of a city bus, pictured here. The domain name caught my eye, more than anything because I couldn’t seem to figure out what it actually said.

My first impression was that it was HamRadio.com, or perhaps HNMRadio.com. Neither was correct; the first domain hosts a site that sells ham radios and the second is not registered. As it turns out, the domain pictured here is actually HMMRadio.com. According to the website, the HMM stands for Hometown Media & Marketing. Unfortunately, the site does not offer much in the way of content (none of the links work) and I was unable to find any information on Hometown Media & Marketing.

Clearly, the company has invested in the HMM Radio endeavor, at least enough to advertise it on the back of a very public bus. So I’m finding it hard to understand why it chose a design that obscures that domain name to the point where it’s nearly illegible.

If an average person, sitting in traffic behind a bus, can’t read your domain name, then he or she will never be able to use it to reach your content online. Domains are an integral part of a strong marketing strategy, but they can only be successful when they are properly communicated to the public. If you happen to get a great domain, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by displaying it in a way that people can’t decipher.