all those of you who are in favor of super bowl commercials with women who have large breasts and wear next to no clothes raise your hands. you can view the rejected commericals at the godaddy web site.
GoDaddy.com beats censors with 14th ad
Hal Mattern The Arizona Republic Feb. 3, 2006 12:00 AM
An NFL team needs 18 or 19 games to reach the Super Bowl. It took GoDaddy.com 14 tries just to get a commercial onto the ABC-TV broadcast.
The Scottsdale-based Internet-domain-registry company's battle to beat the censors and offer an edgy ad with a busty actress has been chronicled in GoDaddy Chief Executive Officer Bob Parsons' Internet blog for weeks.
The company will fork over $2.6 million for one airing late in the first quarter or early in the second, and the company said the ad would run a second time during the game at a negotiated price.
Add in the $1.2 million in production costs, and you're talking lots more than small change.
But Parsons' effort has bought lots of publicity for the company, which jumped out of obscurity after last year's Super Bowl, when Fox Broadcasting Co. yanked his company's commercial after its first airing.
The approved version of the 30-second ad, which can be seen on the company Web site with many of the other rejected commercials, isn't as racy as some of the company's earlier attempts, but Parsons described it as "GoDaddy-esque."
"We're pleased with the ad they approved," he said. "It will definitely catch people's attention."
ABC spokeswoman Alison Lazar declined to comment on the commercial, except to say that the network approved it "after careful review."
Parsons has been at odds with network censors since the flap over last year's Super Bowl ad. The commercial, a parody of congressional censorship hearings, featured busty actress Candice Michelle struggling with a broken strap on her tank top.
This time around, GoDaddy submitted an ad that starred Michelle seductively washing the window of a high-rise while the men meeting inside squirmed. After ABC rejected the ad, the company continued submitting revised commercials until the network finally OK'd one.
"Maybe they were worn down," Parsons said.
The new spot features Michelle arguing the company's case to the chairman of a committee overseeing the approval of commercials. This time there are two malfunctioning tank top straps, but nothing is exposed to viewers.
"It's a parody of everything we've been going through," Parsons said.
Even though last year's commercial shed little light on what the company actually does, it raised the profile of the firm and generated an estimated $11.7 million in publicity, according to broadcast analyst Multivision Inc.
GoDaddy.com, founded by Parsons in 1997, is the world's largest registrar of Internet domain names. It offers Web hosting, Web site creation tools, security certificates and other services.
The company has nearly 1,000 employees, up from about 600 in December 2004. Most work in the Valley, with about one-quarter of the workforce in Iowa.
Go Daddy was ranked No. 8 on the 2004 Inc. 500 list of the nation's fastest-growing privately held companies and No. 20 on the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 500.
GoDaddy's recent efforts were seen by some as a blatant attempt to exploit the issue for as much publicity as possible without the need to actually have a commercial air. The story has been featured in newspapers across the nation and on national television shows.
Parson insists that he wasn't trying to orchestrate a publicity stunt, despite staging news conferences and posting blogs just to say ABC rejected yet another commercial.
He also posted videos of the rejected ads and the one approved by ABC and traded posts with people who wrote to criticize or sympathize with his efforts.
"While I've been pleased with the media attention that this has attracted, it has always been my intention to simply get a commercial approved and nothing more," he wrote in a recent blog.
Whether it was a shameless ploy to generate publicity or an honest effort to plug the company and to battle censorship, GoDaddy's actions and nearly $4 million in expenditures could prove to be a boon for the company, said Joan Schneider, the author of a book on product launches.
"If the ad is really cool, people are going to be talking about it for a long time," Schneider said.
"The more word of mouth you can generate, the better. It's a creative strategy."
And what if the commercial is a dog?
"In most instances that would be a negative, but in the Super Bowl it doesn't matter," she said. "The goal is just to get people talking."