Godaddy.com's follow-through disappoints

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My visceral reaction to this spot was positive. I was pleasantly surprised. It was very clever and unexpected. It was against the expectation of what Godaddy.com was known for: misogynist, salacious marketing. Instead, this spot was fun and self-deprecating. Fresh. Entertaining.

Now, that was my visceral reaction.

I decided to respond to the ad's call to action. I went to Godaddy.com, and that's when it fell apart. Or should I say, fell back to what would be expected from Godaddy.com

If you clicked on the Internet version of the Super Bowl spot, you were served a two-minute version. Could it be a DRTV-120? Uh, no. If you wanted the old Godaddy.com approach, you weren't disappointed.

Sadly, even when they tried to shock and awe, their marketing was showing. They laid out their messaging strategy word for word: “If Joan can reinvent herself with a Godaddy.com domain, just imagine what you can do with yours.” Really? Does this target know who Joan Rivers is?

But it didn't stop there. It went on and on with lines that just weren't clever or smart. Joan: “My body's a temple. And here's the gift shop.” This was followed by a crisp self-slap to her 75-year-old butt. There were other lame attempts at humor but they fell, excuse the pun, flat.

When the spot finished, a pop-up offered a reward for watching. “Thanks for watching. Get your own .com or .co now for only $11.99. Save $7.49.”

OK, let's see if I have this straight. If I respond to the call to action and watch your extended commercial, you're going to give me a savings of $4.50?

Am I crazy or is that a lot of work for a little reward? I don't know what the perception is but mine was completely blown out of the water. I'm sure I'm not the target audience but their actual target must have very low expectations.

Speaking of targets, who is their target? Would they actually go to the site, watch the spot, and sign up for a domain name because they'll save $4.50 and maybe see…what? What do they really think is going to be on that site? Bit of a stretch, I'd say.

Conversely, their Facebook strategy is actually smart. They combine a nice mix of solid, targeted offers and promotional messaging. I have to wonder if this target is going to join in the social channel. A Super Bowl spot is exposed to more than 20 million people. Godaddy.com has 47,000 people on their Facebook. Go figure.

I wish I would've just stopped after watching the spot. I was hopeful, but when I opted in to the entire experience, well, even Joan River's surgeons couldn't make this look good. 

The second Godaddy.com spot was “The Contract.” Jillian and Danika are the stars and refuse to do the spot because “This is over the top.” Ooooh, what could it be?” Their agent tells them they have to because they are under contract. They seem to be walking naked through the set. The call to action says “Go to Godaddy.com and see what happens next.” I did. Guess what? Nothing happened next. There wasn't a longer spot. Nothing. Buzzkill central and completely underwhelming.

Ken Fitzgerald is executive creative director at Catalyst. See more of his reviews here.

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