Danica Patrick is set to start in her 14th GoDaddy Super Bowl Commercial over a nine-year period, but unlike previous commercials (see below), this one is set to be a little different.
Unlike past years, where GoDaddy has run two separate ads during the Super Bowl, GoDaddy will only be running one.
In an interview with Barb Rechterman she stated:
People love cute little puppies in Super Bowl commercials, right? [ ... ] The power of our next Super Bowl ad is how it pivots from what you think is a traditional 'Hallmark' style commercial into something unexpected, while highlighting how our products help a small-business owner drive their business online.
So it is clear that something a little unpredictable will be coming, even though Barn Rechterman refused to reveal what that might be. All we know is that Danica and the puppy will tell the story of a business owner, with a plot twist. There are some reports that the GoDaddy Super Bowl Commercial storyline will be about a puppy trying to get back home, but we have no independent confirmation of this.
There are hints that social media will play a substantial role in both the puppy and the commercial, with some indications that it may include choosing the puppy (which is yet to be cast) or choosing the name.
After all, the whole point of the Super Bowl Commercial is to be the one most talked about, with social mentions and shares being highly sought after, so it makes sense for there to be an unexpected element. Just take a look at the statistics from last year, to see how in depth they are analyzed.
The use of a puppy is quite a smart decision, based upon a formula that has been very successful in getting the top Superbowl spot for the last few years. Last year Budweiser's ad featuring a puppy and a pony was well received, in 2012 the top three performing adverts featured dogs, as did the top two performing adverts in 2011.
Charles Taylor, professor of marketing at Villanova School of Business commented:
There is solid research evidence that ads that contain dogs are more likable than other ads.
The man responsible for the new GoDaddy Super Bowl Commercial is Gerry Graf, chief creative officer at the New York ad agency Barton f. Graf 9000, who is famous for his E-Trade Monkey Super Bowl Commercial back in 2000. That ad simply showed a dancing monkey with two oddballs clapping their hands with the following message flashing at the end of the ad "Well, we just wasted $2 million. What are you doing with your money?". Take a look for yourself:
While this video looks a little dated now, it certainly gives the impression that Graf can think outside the box. It will be quite interesting to see if he can repeat his successes of the past!
What about previous GoDaddy Super Bowl Adverts?
We can't leave this article without some limited reference to the previous Super Bowl Adverts. Before 2014, GoDaddy's adverts were quite raunchy, but that was dropped last year as its focus became on small business. Check out the last few years of adverts below:
And now contrast this to 2013!:
Overall, it will be interesting to see whether a puppy can give the same buzz factor. Certainly, the 2013 advert is much more shocking, but perhaps not quite aimed at their target market of small business owners. Only time will tell.
Update 27th January 2015 — New GoDaddy Super Bowl Advert Causing Complaints Among Dog Lovers
Editor's Note: 28th January — Due to the backlash against the new advert, GoDaddy have issued a statement that they are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl, claiming that they "underestimated the emotional response." They continued:
The net result? We are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You’ll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh.
Finally, rest assured, Buddy came to us from a reputable and loving breeder in California. He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer, and he lives permanently with one of our longtime employees.
Call us sadistic, but the gif to the right sums up exactly how we see this GoDaddy advert being received. The video causing the stir is a parody of the actual Superbowl advert designed with the sole purpose of causing a stir on social media.
With the aim of a Superbowl advert being to be the most talked about, this, or at least the surrounding campaign is set to do that. You can just see this post on popular Retriever Training Forum that seeks to get readers to make formal complaints about the video:
NO, NO, NO ... please let them know how you feel
It is awful and tasteless and doing exactly what they want, driving people to see it and increasing their web presence. They don't care if people hate it, just as long as people are talking about it, viewing it and therefore, increasing their numbers to suck in more clients.
The star of the Superbowl advert for GoDaddy is a puppy named Buddy. The actual naming of the puppy was the result of a social media campaign which asked for submissions.
Note: The video has now been removed from YouTube.
The final straw with this video is that when "Buddy" finally finds his way home after escaping despite first appearing he is returning to a loving home, the message "SOLD" appears on a tablet implying that they were just happy to be able to sell the dog again.
Now, you will probably have to watch the video again now, but did you spot the cameo by Danica Patrick, who we already knew is going to feature in the main Superbowl advert?