Global ads will roll out in the coming weeks. Directed by
Smuggler's Mark Molloy, the spots are
cinematic and emotional, balancing lighthearted moments with more
serious ones as they follow the trials and successes of the small
biz owners in countries from India to Mexico to Brazil to
While markedly different in tone, the domestic and global ads
address the same insights. "In all of our key markets around the
world, when we started talking to small businesses -- the core of
our business -- we asked them, 'What are the things that keep you
up at night?'" said GoDaddy CMO Phil Bienert. "The reality is there
are a lot of day-to-day things that you run into that make it tough
to even know you're going to make it to the next day. In some cases
it even comes from your own support network. Your friends and your
family often say, 'You're crazy. It's never going to work.'"
Last November, the brand tapped TBWA to be its first-ever global agency and,
in a bold move, decided to opt out of its historically go-to
showcase, the Super Bowl, for the first time in 2016. These moves
reflect the brand's decision to be more strategic and data-focused
in its marketing as well as its goal to increase its brand
awareness around the world.
"We've had some famous, very notable messaging in the past, and
as we've evolved in the U.S. -- where 58% of small businesses are
owned by women -- we've had advertising that reflects who the
audience is, getting away from the tactics we've done [before],
also letting the data tell us where to go next," said Mr.
In the U.S., Mr. Bienert said the brand has well over 80% brand
recognition. While arguably U.S. audiences may still associate
GoDaddy with is risque ads featuring scantily clad, busty women, in
recent years it's decidedly steered away from that approach. Last
year, there was the brand's much-publicized ad about a lost puppy
that CEO Blake Irving pulled from the Super Bowl after it drew fire
from viewers. Prior to that, the brand's Super Bowl spot, created
out of Deutsch, featured a machine engineer named
Gwen who quit her job on the spot to start her dream business
The new "Go You" cats spot continues on a similar path, but this
time it promotes a fictional woman with an outlandish
"Where we're going with this is another step in that transition
with our messaging that fits, frankly, with a lot of other things
we've been doing with our marketing domestically -- our decision to
exit Nascar, our decision to not be in the Super Bowl," said Mr.
Bienert. "The data was telling us we could be effective with our
messaging, our media mix and our targeting in a different way."
On the international front, the challenges are different and
varied, with the campaign reaching its 53 markets around the world.
"Outside of the U.S. and Canada, where we're new and in some cases,
a challenger brand, we don't have 17 years' heritage. That allows
us to go into those markets and speak much more directly to small
businesses with messaging that really is much more a direct
reflection of their day-to-day lives."
"The challenge was to be aware of how each market has a
different place in the learning curve and how to answer to that
world," said TBWA/Chiat/Day New York Global Creative Director Adam
Wohl. "What was vital that even though both campaigns have
different sensibilities and points of view, that there be
connective tissue for all of this" -- which led to the "Go You"
idea. "GoDaddy is the go behind small business, and if you think
you can do something, we know you can do it," he said.