Learning from GoDaddy – Controversial ads

When you watch a GoDaddy ad, you’re most probably wondering two things:

  1. What on earth is going on?
  2. What is their product?

You’re not alone in thinking this because their ads are way over the top for what they sell – internet domain space. GoDaddy’s superlative ads, which hinge on bizarre and sometimes borderline sexism over the years… worked for them. 

That’s because they followed one rule to the T – “Any publicity is good publicity.”

Why did their campaigns work?

Up until recently, GoDaddy’s ads in the U.S.A would feature female models in skimpy clothing taking up screen space uttering cheesy, provocative lines. The whole ad hinged on the face value of these models and with edgy themes, their ads would take a life of their own and soon became highly anticipated, especially during the Superbowl ad slots.

Their ads followed one of the mantras from the 48 Laws of Power book which claimed what is unseen counts for nothing. In a space that’s “non-sexy” as internet domain space, GoDaddy managed to hyper-sexualize it and won effectively. 

Whether or not you agree with the content, you can’t say you ignored it. Their ads were designed to specifically offend or garner controversy and they managed to do so successfully. 

The company did change tack and move away from controversial ads around five years back. Their success in engaging their audience – either in conversation or in their product means that their attempts were successful and in the world of advertising, sex appeal sells.

More from Black Raven

about us