Link: Click Here
Target: Men who own domain names
Rating: **Why Am I Writing About a Superbowl Ad in May?:
For three reasons:
- It is now clear that the ad sold the product. (GoDaddy recently became the #1 Domain Name Registrar).
- Most of the debate has been centered around the moral issue of selling sex.
- This is the wrong debate from the brand manager’s viewpoint.
Because of the Janet Jackson reference, the well-endowed model and mostly the inevitable controversy, this spot was unbelievably effective at getting people to check out GoDaddy’s website where they discovered they could save something like $26 per domain name on registration. [DISCLAIMER - I moderated a debate on the Superbowl ads at Georgetown Business School this year and during my prep I did go to the website. As a result, ThirdWay used GoDaddy when we renewed our domain registration. I am only moderately embarrassed by this in light of what I'm about to write.]
Okay, the question from a brand standpoint is not just whether the advertising sells the product, but whether it builds the brand. And the question you have to ask is what exactly is the brand positioning of GoDaddy? What brand attributes are built for the long run by this advertising which formed most consumers’ first impression of the brand?
I know, I know – why am I asking this question when the ad WORKED? Because it’s not about the short term. Branding is about what happens when the cheaper competitor with equal quality comes in with a big ad blitz of its own. Branding is about what remains when the winds of controversy die down and you’re left with an everyday business.
So the question is – what is the brand positioning? Here’s the problem. When you think of the important attributes for a domain name registrar, “sexy” doesn’t really top the list, does it? And is “sexy” ownable?
It is not as simple a question as it appears to be. For one thing, Virgin and Richard Branson have long bedeviled those of us who like straightforward brand positioning. It took years to figure out that it is essentially a fashion brand. You don’t know what the “something more” that a new Virgin offering will be, but you have a sense that it will be fresh, audacious, etc. in the same way you don’t know what Prada, etc. will look like next season but you know what it will make you feel like. So GoDaddy could be establishing another fashion/lifestyle brand for that Maxim-reading website owner. But that may be a stretch. I’m putting my bets on the other side of the table. On the $4.99 per name operator who decides to risk it all on a splashy Superbowl ad next year. Pretty soon they’ll be sending us free fresh-baked cookies with our domain registrations like Kozmo.com did during the Internet video delivery wars in Manhattan.
Branding Bottom Line -
Sex sells but just like the real thing it doesn’t last very long …