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GoDaddy Targets Small Businesses With Quirky Fall Campaign

CMO Describes New Ads as 'Provocative With Purpose'

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GoDaddy will kick off its fall campaign tonight during "Monday Night Football."

The first of two new TV ads will air tonight on ESPN, with another spot beginning to air on cable tomorrow. The commercials, "Stick It" and "Related," are part of GoDaddy's most recent unconventional attempt to resonate with small business owners.

The new ads move away from using celebrities. Instead, they are based on real small business owners, both women. CMO Barb Rechterman said 60% of small businesses are owned by women.

"It's an honest look at what small business owners go through each and every day," said GoDaddy Ms. Rechterman. "It's a lot of hard work and they are wearing a lot of hats, and there are times where it is not always happy."

Produced by its new agency, Barton F. Graf 9000, New York, the two spots use humor to shed light on the harsh realities of starting a business. "They play into a space and area of small business that not many people want to talk about," said Ms. Rechterman.

The campaign's rollout also includes online and print advertising and social media. With GoDaddy's IPO approaching, the company wants to be seen as not only a provider of domain names but as a suite of products and services. As part of the new effort, GoDaddy is increasing its ad spend, though Ms. Rechterman declined to offer specifics.

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GoDaddy's last TV spot, "Air Wrench," rolled out in late July and featured Nascar drivers Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart. Shortly after the spot aired, Mr. Stewart was involved in a fatal accident when a racecar he was driving struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. The investigation is complete, and Mr. Stewart should find out soon whether or not he will be charged. Mr. Stewart remains part of the GoDaddy team though he will not appear in any of the new ads.