“Go Daddy reported a doubling of its previous best-ever immediate Web spike and converted the Internet traffic into sales and new customers unlike ever before in the company’s seven-year Super Bowl history, according to a company news release the day after the Super Bowl.”


Dear Chattering Class:

Until Chrysler, Doritos and VW post similar results – namely, a 466% increase in sales – please sit down, stop talking and listen carefully to the lesson that Bob Parsons at GoDaddy is happy to teach you.

Advertising is about selling stuff.

And Go Daddy sold stuff, achieving a sales record. Again.

Our fourth-quarter commercial spiked our Internet traffic higher than any Super Bowl ad we’ve ever done. And even better — calls, conversion and cash were off the charts! In fewer than 15 minutes after Go Daddy’s first Super Bowl commercial aired, our domain name registrations shot up more than 466 percent over last year.”

Go Daddy did 3 things with its two spots on this Sunday’s Super Bowl:

1. It set up the pay-off to its well-promoted (on Facebook) new Go Daddy Girl – Joan Rivers, of all things – which poked fun at itself, a hallmark of the company’s advertising for those who’ve been paying attention.

2. The Joan Rivers unveiling – if you’ll pardon the pun – completely took the wind out of competitor Network Solutions’ weakly offered Go Granny parody. NetSol ended up looking utterly punked.

3. Go Daddy set up a clear pay-off to visit its website, essentially using the second spot – with Jillian Michaels and Danica Patrick – as the first half of another self-parodying story line that could only be completed at the company’s website. Not titillating, not provocative, just poking fun at itself. A clear “tension/resolution” storyline, pun intended this time.


Note: here’s a link to pretty close to the full transcript of my interview with Bob Parsons just after last year’s Super Bowl – it was in this month’s Deep Cuts newsletter: http://ymlp.com/zU5USa


I haven’t seen a similar press release from Groupon yet and I’m looking forward to it. All I see is backpedalling, which is as distasteful and worthy of contempt as its ad was.

For everyone in the business of selling advertising, may I ask you two simple questions, choosing between the much admired VW “Darth Vadar” spot and the GoDaddy Super Bowl spot (you pick, either one):

1. Which creative would you rather present in your client’s boardroom?

2. Which results would you rather present? (Or don’t you get involved in that sort of thing?)

Unfortunately, in real life you only get to pick one spot for both questions. So choose wisely.

Sergio Zyman and I agree on something very fundamental here: advertising –and marketing – is about selling stuff. Not entertaining people, not getting belly laughs, not making us all say “oh… how CUTE!” in unison. It’s called a “commercial.”


As in “commercial transaction.”


PS: I interviewed Bob in Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry, where he spoke at length just after Super Bowl 44 on the origins of the strategy, how he feels about “ad critics” and what advertising is supposed to do. Killing Giants will be available on March 31, 2011, everywhere you buy your books.