Something odd happened in mid-December. Danica Patrick, squeezed into a muscle suit, crashed through a cyclone fence and led a pack of bodybuilders down a street in search of a small-business solution (more on that later). The image is jarring -- not just the diminutive Patrick bulked up, but the absence of scantily clad women in a GoDaddy commercial for the Super Bowl.
"When I first saw (the costume), I thought, 'Holy crap!'" Patrick said, eyes widening to emphasize her point. "But I understand this ad is about brand extension, and more about what they do now."
"C'mon, check out my muscles," Patrick implored, showing off a foam-rubber suit meticulously painted with veins.
The change of pace -- OK, radical departure -- is part of a corporate makeover. "It's been a transformative year," says Blake Irving, GoDaddy's new CEO. "Our new message is that of the go-getter -- valuable, edgy and fun. Two years ago, it was provocative, sexy, crazy, gutsy."
This isn't some 30-second gimmick, but a systemic change to reflect a big shift in how GoDaddy intends to do business. The TV spot underscores GoDaddy's push to make more premium small-business services available to its 12 million customers (it had 11 million a year ago).
In one of its first large-scale partnerships, GoDaddy last week named Microsoft Office 365 as the exclusive e-mail/productivity service for its small-business customers. The company is also enhancing its invoicing and Web-hosting services for business owners.
GoDaddy cut its teeth in registering domain names and offering Web-hosting services before diving into the small-business market.
It envisions a steep upside to its new strategy: There are 28 million small businesses in the USA, and 125 million worldwide, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Of the 28 million small businesses, 92% have fewer than four employees.
This isn't your father's Go-Daddy.
Patrick's 13th Super Bowl ad for the company since 2007 is a departure from the titillation-laced fare she was once a part of. The company's racy ads started in 2005, with a sexy spoof of the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004.
In the forthcoming ad on Super Sunday on Feb. 2, Patrick leads a bevy of bodybuilders to a spray-tan shop.
Beneath the biceps and bulk, GoDaddy's newest ad is targeted at small businesses such as RecipeForFitness.com, a nutrition site that sells meal plans to customers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and England.
"They cover all of the technical stuff, and fix it," says Chelle Stafford, who owns the site. As an experienced Web master, she coded the site and had a hand in processing every transaction. (continued...)
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Posted: 2014-01-24 @ 4:31pm PT
danica crashes - so what's new?