GoDaddy continues on the road to shedding its legacy of brash, boobs-first advertising with a new campaign that celebrates the small business owner, its first out of global agency TBWA/Chiat/Day New York.
The brand today bows its global "Go You" campaign, which puts the spotlight on small biz owners in new North American and global ads. The former stars Johanna, an eccentric cat lady who has moved from being a theatrical performer playing a kitty allergic to other felines to an entrepreneur with a big idea: hats for cats. Directed by MJZ's The Perlorian Brothers, a TV spot and another extended online version (seen here) point to two sites, catswithhats.com and gatochapeau.com. Each cleverly showcases the various tools GoDaddy provides in the guise of Cat Lady's online storefront. Added bonus: the sites feature a tool that lets you too put one of Johanna's wares -- which include a captain's hat, a beanie and a sparkly crown -- on your own kitties.
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 London.
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. Bienert.
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