Go Daddy’s “Perfect Match:” brilliant advertising or an insult to viewers?

If you tuned into the Super Bowl Sunday evening (and I’m guessing you did), you probably witnessed these thirty seconds of sex-crazed promotion. The latest in a series of raunchy advertisements from GoDaddy.com, a popular web hosting platform, the ad featured Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli kissing a stereotypical nerd named Walter. Passionately. And for the majority of the spot. Viewers were quick to voice their opinions online, some praising the ad’s edgy nature while others slamming it for its alleged objectification of women. Let’s look at both sides of this argument: is this an insult to viewers or a case of brilliant advertising?

Before we dive in, let’s recall the purpose of an advertisement. Go Daddy ran this commercial to promote its brand. The goal was to make people aware of the company and attract potential clients. Regardless of the ad’s content, the primary measure of its success should be whether it drives traffic to their site.

So did the commercial work? While Go Daddy has declined to release numbers, it claims the ad garnered more customers and sales than any campaign in the company’s history. Social media analysts report that the ad, titled “Perfect Match,” was the most mentioned promotion of the game, sparking discussions across the most popular networks. In this measure it appears the commercial was a success.

It is important to note, however, that consumers identify the content and message of an ad with the product it promotes. This is the reason commercials usually range from good to only slightly bad taste. Many viewers and commentators have attacked the Go Daddy ad for its degrading, almost pornographic portrayal of women. The video crew invited Bar Refaeli to sit her there in revealing clothes and have an unattractive guy kiss her. In fact, the ad’s only focus is how hot she is. It allows viewers to vicariously make out with her in a drawn out close up of Walter having the time of his life. Does it objectify her? Certainly. Could it be construed as an insult to women? Most definitely. But it grabbed people’s attention.

Brilliant? Or just insulting?

Brilliant? Or just insulting?

Time will tell whether Go Daddy’s ad can be considered a success. While it drew masses to the site, the backlash from its offensive content may hurt its brand. Given the company’s history of edgy commercials, such damage seems unlikely but not out of the question. As the saying goes, “Any press is good press.” But it may be possible to have too much of a good bad thing.

So what do you think of “Perfect Match?” Is it brilliant? Offensive? Am I a complete idiot?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday!

Click here for last week’s post: The 9 Most Annoying People in Your Twitter Feed!

Other great articles:

Go Daddy’s Super Bowl Ad—Offensive, or Right on Target? (Joy Hawkins)

The GoDaddy Ad Was Not Disgusting or Demeaning to Women At All (Jalopnik)

Life Lessons I learned from Video Games

Three Amazing Facts about the Quantum World

Five People to Avoid at the Gym


Comment question of the week

Brilliant advertising or an insult to viewers?


12 thoughts on “Go Daddy’s “Perfect Match:” brilliant advertising or an insult to viewers?

  1. All I have to say is ….. Brilliant . It’s quite obvious that the GoDaddy brand is firmly seated in your brain, as with any marketing strategy the goal. Ever mention of GoDaddy wether it be discuss or admiration proves the campaign not only worked but undoubtedly shattered marketing strategy molds for years to come.

    I can tell you all there is no underlying gender bias, the ad was genius in the fact that GoDaddy just had to pay for the Super Bowl spot. Every news media outlet and talk show acros the United States picked up the story and publicized it even more.

    Let me explain what GoDaddy ment by “sexy” , check out their new website builder application, it’s easy to use, visually stimulating and handles all the technical aspects of building a web site for you. It really is sexy, as they have recently launched an initiative to redesign and simplify all their tools and main site, you could also call the new look sexy.

    I do not discourage any one of you to stop sharing your thoughts and opinions on GoDaddy or the commercial, why? Well because it continues to drive customer growth and with that product improvements . Being a GoDaddy customer for 9+ years now I truly know how much sexier the products and tools they sell have gotten in 9 years.

    And BTW the numbers are in , 5.2 million in sales the monday and 5 million the tuesday following the Super Bowl, and 10,000+ new customers.

    Yeah it worked…

    • thanks for the update on the numbers–quite impressive! You seem like quite the GoDaddy advocate :). Do you really think that the ad contained no gender bias? It seems to me as though it was definitely targeted toward men and could be construed as demeaning of women. Clearly the ad is working short run wonders for the business, though. Thoughts?

      • The ads of yesterday yes I can conclude they contained skewed gender roles and were very provocative. But realistically look at the simplicity of the ad, no fancy special effects, no elaborate costumes, just plain simplicity. Yes she is very attractive, but notice, fully clothed.

        Imagine if the man in the commercial had been a calvin klien model? Would you still have claimed there was gender bias ?

  2. I’m torn. I thought the ad was funny and entertaining on a personal level. But then again, I watch shows like Workaholics and It’s Always Sunny…I’m not easily offended. From a business standpoint, I’m not confident their “sexy women” method will last much longer. On the flip side, it’s not like DNS and site hosting is the most fun thing to advertise, and for Go Daddy, any attention might be good.

    • Good point–I’d be surprised if Go Daddy can ride the “sexy woman” campaign for much longer. At some point the shock value will fade, and as they’re already pushing the line (some of their ads for past Super Bowls have been rejected by CBS), I can’t imagine it going on for much longer. That said, these ads receive a crazy amount of attention without even mentioning what Go Daddy actually is. It’s effective in the short term, but we have yet to see if it will last. Any other Super Bowl ads that caught your eye? I was a big fan of the Coke ad with the cowboys and vegas girls racing through the desert!

      • Oh yeah, I remember my first time I checked out GoDaddy because I had no idea what it was. Hosting service? Ha, quite the surprise. Even though I much prefer Bluehost over GoDaddy, their marketing tactics definitely is what gives them the business.

        I also think GoDaddy made those ads to purposely be rejected, because they let viewers go online to see them. See the cleverness of that?

  3. Pingback: Everywhere I Look – There I Am | HonieBriggs

  4. It may be time to rethink the definition of brilliant, but if women got offended every time we were objectified, mountains of laundry would pile up, meals would go unprepared, penises would be falling off in the streets! Jimmy Choo would go broke and humanity would cease to exist. People need to get a grip on reality. Most women know they are more than the sum of their tits and ass. Most women have more important things to do than worry about being objectified. Most women are NOT super models and do not care what super models waste their time doing. Like most women, I find the entire argument getting tiresome.

    • Very interesting point! It’s true that a thick skin is necessary for a whole lot of things, especially ads like these. Just to play devil’s advocate, do you worry that turning away from the debate when it becomes tiresome may perpetuate the objectification? If people don’t condemn degrading media that turns out to be successful, doesn’t that encourage businesses to pursue these ideas and make them even more prominent in their campaigns?

      Also, thanks for the mention! I really appreciate it!

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