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.
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!
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Comment question of the week
Brilliant advertising or an insult to viewers?