The announcement was not a surprise; GoDaddy has used the Super Bowl effectively to build its brand over the past decade. This will be its 11th appearance.
GoDaddy also announced that its Super Bowl ad will feature a cute puppy.
A cute puppy?
Animals are a staple of Super Bowl advertising. Puppies and horses have broad appeal. If you want to connect with lots of people, feature some cuddly animals in your creative. We will probably see a zoo’s worth of critters on the Super Bowl this year.
The basic concept behind most of GoDaddy’s Super Bowl advertising over the past decade has been to shock people by showing attractive, buxom women in revealing attire. The company would then pair the Super Bowl ad with a longer web version with more content. Many years, GoDaddy would announce in early January that the network had rejected its first ad due to the risqué material.
This approach was controversial. Many people attacked the company for the creative concept, accusing GoDaddy of using sex to sell.
Despite the controversy, it worked; GoDaddy became the most recognizable brand in its space, now worth billions of dollars.
In 2015, GoDaddy will be taking a very different approach. GoDaddy is going from being one of the most controversial advertisers on the Super Bowl to using one of the safest creative ideas.
The move makes sense in many respects but I suspect GoDaddy won’t see the same sort of impact. Being safe is, well, safe. But it is hard to stand out when you are safe. The brands people notice are often the ones that are different, the ones that take risks.
This is one of the great challenges in branding. Being safe does not often create a distinctive, unique brand. GoDaddy is apparently being conservative in 2015. The question to ask: will people remember the brand after the game?