Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Go Daddy Saga Continues With Olympic Ads
Last we left the company, former CEO and Danica Patrick fan Bob Parsons had been moved upstairs after selling Go Daddy to a group of investors. A man named Warren Adelman had been named CEO and quickly began dropping hints that his agenda was to change the public perception of the company.
The first step was to switch advertising agencies. Deutsch New York was chosen to create a new series of TV commercials that were going to air during the London Olympics. The twist is that Deutsch is run by a very powerful woman named Val DiFebo.
She was asked by the New York Times about the many years of Go Daddy's risque and sexually provocative advertising campaigns. "As a woman, is it my favorite work?” she asked rhetorically, then replied, “No.” That was not a good sign for Patrick and her female team of Go Daddy girls.
When asked about the new campaign, DiFebo suggested a change of course. "The ads will tell more of a story about GoDaddy’s technology rather than entice consumers with appeals like to see more skin, click here,'" she added.
Well, the Olympics are around the corner and a preview of the ads has just been released. True to her word, DiFebo takes a nice big swipe at the Go Daddy girls while sending the message that the company is ultimately about technology and service. How this is done is an eye-opener.
Click here for Danica Patrick's tasteless "beaver" commercial that was part of the advertising campaign surrounding the 2008 Super Bowl. This commercial was supposedly rejected by TV and could only be seen at the Go Daddy website. Of course, the entire thing was a marketing effort to direct TV viewers online.
Click here for the first of the three new Olympic ads. "Charlene" represents the Go Daddy girls but without a company logo or even body paint. The line is "Charlene is how Go Daddy attracts domain name customers." The new character of Karl represents the part of the company never before mentioned. He keeps the customers.
Halfway through the ad, Charlene is said to have forced three state senators into early retirement while she stands on-camera petting her otter. Go Daddy was infamous for putting Parsons' contempt of the Federal Government on display in ads ranging from the "Enhancement Panel" to the classic "Broadcast Censorship Hearings."
Click here to see the original 2005 Super Bowl ad where the C-SPAN logo was changed to G-SPIN.
So what exactly is the point of these new ads and spending millions to run them in the Olympics? Gone are the familiar "Go Daddy Girl" faces the company worked so hard to develop. Gone is the teenage sexual innuendo. Instead, a generic sexy girl with an otter and a reputation is upstaged by a nerd named Karl.
"I felt it would be disingenuous not to acknowledge our past and do it in a tongue-in-cheek way, but really point to the future," Go Daddy CEO Adelman told the Huffington Post on Monday. This may be the strongest statement yet that what Adelman and DiFebo have in mind does not involve the Go Daddy Girls.
Patrick is finishing a full-time season in the Nationwide Series while running a limited schedule in the Sprint Cup Series. Her primary NASCAR sponsor is Go Daddy. Now, that company heads into the Olympics without her.
Love it or hate it, the upside in Patrick's Go Daddy TV ad exposure was that she was now firmly tied to NASCAR. Her pursuit of a win in the Nationwide Series continues, but 2013 was supposed to see her running for Rookie of the Year honors in the Sprint Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing. That would be huge for the entire sport.
Patrick has been coy on confirming her plans for next season in the media, but things are said to be in place. Even the Indy 500 and Coke 600 double-dip has been put on the table as possible for next year. What has yet to unfold is just how she fits into the company's advertising future as Adelman shifts the Go Daddy emphasis from sex to technology.
Click here to see the current Go Daddy homepage. The company's IndyCar driver James HinchCliffe continues to be featured as a result of the most recently completed ad campaign. Patrick is nowhere to be found.
We welcome your opinion on this topic. Comments may be moderated prior to posting.