Thursday, February 2

Go Daddy

With the SuperBowl upon us, I thought it might be fun to talk about an annual advertiser ... one that always captures a lot of attention at the SuperBowl.  Whether we like it or not.  Go Daddy.

Do you even know what Go Daddy is all about as a brand?

One of my colleagues at the agency weighs in on the brand, and asks a very important question. 

Thanks, John.  What's your experience?  Jim

What do you want to be remembered for when your career is over?  I thought about this question when I saw this humongous billboard in Times Square last weekend.

When I first sat down to write this blog post I was going to talk about Go Daddy’s marketing strategy.  A strategy that consists of racy ads that get people talking about Go Daddy in both a positive and a negative way.  

I was going to talk about how Go Daddy took it too far this time.  (note from Jim - I think they always take it too far, and I'm a customer!)

But, that is nothing new for people who have been following the Go Daddy brand.  I couldn’t have my first guest blog post be boring.  That would ruin your “Experience” on this blog.  After talking to very smart women I realized the real story is about Danica Patrick.

For those of you who don’t know who Danica Patrick, she is the only woman to have won an IndyCar series.  She also finished 3rd in the Indianapolis 500, the highest finish ever by a women.  These are two huge accomplishments in the sport of racing.   Patrick has made a huge impact on the sport, and paved the way for other females who have always dreamed of becoming a racecar driver. 

In the mind of some sports fans Danica Patrick is a superstar athlete.  But why would a superstar athlete feel the need to pose half naked on a billboard in the middle of Time Square? 

I understand that Go Daddy is her sponsor, and that she probably makes a lot of money doing these ads, but it takes away from her brand as a female racer.  Being the most successful women in racing, she could have easily found another sponsor and not shoot racy Go Daddy ads.  If her goal is to be a super model on the side, then maybe it is a good move.  I have not heard that she is pursuing that line of work though.

Kobe Bryant recently did a commercial for Nike. The commercial not only reinforces how good he is as an athlete, but he is also saying that Nike shoes elevate his game.  This is consistent with his brand. Having good sneakers is important to a NBA player of his caliber. 

Patrick could have looked for sponsorship opportunities that tie back to racing that would help build her brand as a racing superstar.  Does having a domain name from Go Daddy make her a better racecar driver?

After all the practice, hard work, and obstacles she has had to overcome to become the most successful women in racing history, she is risking her legacy by doing these Go Daddy commercials.   

Will Danica Patrick be remembered as the “Go Daddy Girl”, or “The Women that Changed Racing History?”

That is for you to decide.

- John Muscarello from Lippe Taylor

Join us for live tweets during the SuperBowl on Twitter at #SBExp!

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect series
Professor at NYU


  1. What I find interesting about this brand is that their focus is purely on brand recall.

    Web hosting is a very crowded space, so the thought process is, "I don't want to be a brand that you like, I want to be a brand that you know." The reason I find this interesting is that GoDaddy actually has an amazing service compared to other providers. I don't want to bore you with the details, but I went from using over 6 different hosts and even more registrars to using GoDaddy exclusively. I give them thousands of dollars ever year. And I do this in spite of their advertising.

    I wish that they would educate on why their product is better. Because at the end of the day, we don't pick our hosting accounts because a half-naked woman says so. We choose them because of the integrity of the product and the services they offer.

  2. I had a totally different experience of the GoDaddy Super Bowl ad.
    I think that GoDaddy’s campaign was smart. The ads are purposefully racy and non-specific. The idea is that the audience will search the company – thereby learning about its amazing products and services. An advertisement doesn’t necessarily have to tell you about what the company does, as long as it provokes some action. I would argue that GoDaddy is the most recognized web hosting company in the US, in large part because of these ads. No matter what your response to the ads, you know the name GoDaddy and you probably can tell us what it does (because you have searched it on the web, heard about it from friends, or purchased their products). The ads create buzz- it is a non-traditional way to create awareness, but it works. However I think it is important the “shock” factor does not extend to their online strategy. Their website is clear, user-friendly, and focused on product/service (not naked women). While the racy pictures might have made you search (their target IS 25-45 age males), GoDaddy’s well-priced products and superior customer service are what make you stay (Jim and Ben both admit to being loyal customers!).
    I think the idea of these ads being bad for Danica Patrick’s image is based on an outdated idea of what is good for a woman’s brand. People are no longer all that disturbed by women (and men) showing their bodies in advertisements. Danica Patrick is an awesome racecar driver who also happens to be incredibly hot. Other celebrities use their bodies to sell their brand, so what is so wrong with a racecar driver doing it? Furthermore, she shows less skin than many underwear ads (no one said David Beckham was ruining his brand with his H&M underwear ads- and they have nothing to do with soccer!). GoDaddy is a well-respected national brand, and a great sponsor for Danica and other racecar drivers. An added plus is that there are a lot more people who know about her now that didn’t before she did these ads. I personally was not familiar with her particular mixture of good looks and dare devil speed-demon driving before she graced our televisions and billboards. Knowing that there is a woman racing in the Indy 500 sure makes me want to watch it! And I have never watched it before in my life. Even if you have a negative reaction to the fact that she is showing her body on TV and billboards, you know who she is now if you didn’t already. GoDaddy is advertising the “new and cool” .co suffix for websites, and they teamed up with a “new and cool” and hot female racecar driver for their ads. What’s wrong with that?