Marketing Bootcamp

After a Decade of Headline-Grabbing Ads, GoDaddy Is Quitting the Super Bowl

After a Decade of Headline-Grabbing Ads, GoDaddy Is Quitting the Super Bowl
Image credit: Trine Juel | Flickr

After rising to renown largely thanks to its provocative Super Bowl commercials, GoDaddy is now grabbing headlines after announcing it will not run an ad during this year’s big game. This will be the first time in a decade that the web hosting company has bowed out.

Phil Bienert, GoDaddy’s CMO, attributes the decision to an evolution of sorts. “The stuff worked,” he told Variety -- including the company’s first meteoric Super Bowl ad in 2005, which featured a buxom model testifying before a Congressional committee with her top popping off. “Now we are at the point where we don’t need to grow brand awareness domestically any more. A platform like the Super Bowl is really not something that’s necessary for us.”

Last year, less than a day after previewing its Super Bowl ad, which some felt portrayed a dog being sold to a puppy mill, GoDaddy apologized and pulled the commercial. It ran a different -- and decidedly tamer ad -- in its stead.

Related: Has GoDaddy Already Won the Super Bowl?

But now that GoDaddy is a household name, says Bienert, the company’s marketing initiatives will focus on depth rather than breadth -- as well as international audiences. “We have ways of reaching that part of the Super Bowl audience that we want to really focus on through other channels and other platforms,” he said.

Other notable GoDaddy ads include supermodel Bar Refaeli tongue-kissing a nerd in 2013 and auto racing star Danica Patrick beefed up like a bodybuilder.

Variety reports that ads for Super Bowl 50, which will be broadcast by CBS, have nearly sold out, with the network having sought between $4.5 million and $5 million for a 30-second spot.

Bienert told Variety that GoDaddy is not ruling out a return to the Super Bowl in the future.

Related: A Budding Entrepreneur Says 'I Quit' to Her Boss as Millions of People Watch

Edition: October 2016

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