GoDaddy's original ad for Super Bowl XLIX included a puppy. It was funny, a direct shot at Budweiser's Clydesdale spots. But then the internet's outrage zombies struck. GoDaddy was killing puppies and financially supporting puppy mills! How dare you, GoDaddy?!?
Students of GoDaddy's advertising history suspected the outrage might have been part of a long con. But for anyone seeking evidence that the company's ultimately-yanked puppy ad wasn't part of a marketing stunt, this replacement ad, which seems hastily thrown together, should be Exhibit A, Ad Age ad reviewer Ken Wheaton said at the time.
"For any Super Bowl ad, a guy working at a desk with a simple voice-over would be considered understatement," Wheaton wrote. "For GoDaddy, it's just plain weird. But it works. It's not roll-on-the-floor hilarious, but it's funny and the experience would speak to a lot of small-business owners and entrepreneurs, which was precisely GoDaddy's audience."
As it turned out, though, "Working" was to be GoDaddy's final Super Bowl ad in a run dating back to 2005, when it aired a spoof of the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" mishegas that rocked the previous year's halftime show. While the racy spot was scheduled to air twice during Fox's coverage of Super Bowl XXXIX, the network pre-empted the second run with an in-house promo for "The Simpsons."
For years ever after, GoDaddy teased audiences with allusions to nudity, sexcapades and anything else risque it could think of to draw attention to services it seemed to think were otherwise not that interesting. After toning that down for a couple of years in the mid-2010s, GoDaddy said in December 2015 that it had achieved the broad brand awareness that it went to the Super Bowl for and would henceforth pursue a more targeted, data-driven approach.Send credit info to SuperBowlAdArchive@adage.com.