GoDaddy's Super Bowl activity taps puppy power, but with a twist

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Puppy to star in GoDaddy Super Bowl campaign.
Puppy to star in GoDaddy Super Bowl campaign.

CMO explains new direction for forthcoming Super Bowl ad

The Super Bowl is fast approaching, so that means it’s GoDaddy’s time to shine. The world’s largest domain name registrar has unveiled a new direction for its latest Super Bowl ad campaign.

"This one is very different," Barb Rechterman, EVP and chief marketing officer at GoDaddy, told Campaign. "It uses a conventional campaign — we’re using an animal, which is very traditional and powerful in advertising — but we added an unpredictable twist on old advertising conventions."

The animal in question is a yet-to-be named puppy, who will star alongside NASCAR star Danica Patrick in the campaign created by Barton F. Graf 9000.

GoDaddy launched a social-media campaign earlier today asking people to suggest puppy names using the hashtag #GoDaddyPuppy. The winner will be announced Thursday morning.

The early start on the Super Bowl activity has become a tradition for GoDaddy, having pre-released all of its Super Bowl ads online since its first in 2006.

"In ‘06, we were the only ones to pre-release, and right now, we’re at the point where I want to say 70 to 75 percent of advertisers are pre-releasing before the Super Bowl," Rechterman said.

As an online business, GoDaddy has always understood the importance of engaging an audience beyond television, Rechterman said.

"We were fortunate when we started advertising during the Super Bowl that we already understood how important a part online and digital played."

The campaign is part of a wider shift away from the attention-grabbing brand-awareness tactics GoDaddy used in past Super Bowl campaigns, focusing on exactly what GoDaddy does and who it is for.

Rechterman said Gerry Graf’s experience producing Super Bowl ads was part of the reason for the partnership, but another important factor was that the agency is itself a small business.

In fact, before the two companies started working together, Graf 9000 was a GoDaddy customer.

While the campaign’s "twist" is a closely guarded secret at this stage, Rechterman believes it will help GoDaddy stand out as an advertising innovator at next year's sporting event.

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