A day or so after I posted my Super Bowl ad blog, GoDaddy reported that its ad generated a flood of traffic to its site. That news gave some credence to my blog’s position that whether an ad is entertaining isn’t the point, it’s whether it drives sales. Just as obnoxious Mr. Whipple (see this YouTube clip sample with a Super Bowl connection) helped Charmin become the leading brand of toilet paper, GoDaddy’s crass commercials have made them more successful than their competitors.
I could leave it at that and crow, “I told you so!” But other bits of information remind me that even something as straightforward as a 30-second Super Bowl ad can be looked at through a lot of different lenses, making it hard to give it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down reaction.
Forget the differences between men and women for a second. There are huge differences among women alone.
Kadi (no last name given), posting on a site called Social Media Moms said the ad “made me gag.” But it wasn’t because Kadi a prude, she wanted us to know. If GoDaddy would create an ad that was more female-friendly — some sort of 50 Shades of Grey angle — she’d welcome that. And GoDaddy would be wise to remember that women like Kadi are potential customers. “We social media moms like buying domains just as much as we like buying shoes and cosmetics,” she wrote.
Another woman, Teddi Segal, the vice president of marketing and business development at a Virginia marketing agency, didn’t understand why viewers found the ad repellent. “Is it the notion that supermodels shouldn’t kiss unattractive guys?” Teddi asked. “Is it that we shouldn’t actually focus in on the mechanics of a kiss without a song to tell us how to feel and to hide the sloppy soundtrack?”
Teddi thought the ad was a tremendous success based on all the buzz it created. Her boss, Judy Kirpich, felt differently. She cancelled the agency’s contract with GoDaddy.
“As a marketer, I can appreciate the brilliance of their campaign, but as a consumer I have a personal choice on which brands I decide to support. Every decision you make is a part of your own personal brand, and mine does not support exploitation of women, trophy-elephant killing, and just plain poor-taste advertising designed to shock.”
No word on whether she buys Charmin.