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December 03, 2004

Daddy's Other Options

I've mulled over the GoDaddy discussions here, here, and here... Of course, a business owner can do what he/she wants with their money...

However, as a marketer, I cannot help but question whether this is the most effective way for a company to intro-launch themselves.

From a target audience perspective... How many Super Bowl viewers are techies who currently have their own domain/site and don't already know about the GoDaddy option OR have been contemplating a site and will use this ad as a 'call to action' to log-on and acquire their first domain name?

The answer is some.

From an effective reach perspective... How much impact can a lesser known company really make with a single 30-second spot?

The answer is some.

How many people might be away from the TV and peeing during that 30-second spot?

The answer is many.

Yes, we do talk about our favorite Super Bowl commercials around the coffee pot on Monday morning – but how many of us are buying more Bud (best ad 1999–'03) or gulping more Pepsi (best ad 1994-'98) because of these ads?

I think the challenge is that we hate to see so much money spent so quickly for such little impact. Super Bowl ads are a gamble - putting a very tall stack of chips on lucky number 23 and hoping the ball stops there. How can GoDaddy execute something meaningful vs. a potential flash-in-the-pan?

I was schooled early on: "don't to bring up an issue unless you can offer up solutions." Therefore, I'm presenting a few of my own suggestions for GoDaddy's $2.4 M spend. I believe these will build better awareness of their business and drive traffic to their site. In addtion to sales gains, the media coverage, good will, and intrinsic value gained by implementing these suggestions would more than double the investment.

For reference,  $2.4 M equates to 268,156 domain names purchased via GoDaddy at $8.95 each... or web hosting for 607,594 at $3.95 a year via GoDaddy.

Be Generous

The clever tagline for GoDaddy is "make a name with us." They could make a name for themselves with these ideas. (And for some of these ideas, make a difference in the community as well).

  • Offer 607,594 non-profit companies free web hosting of their sites for a year.
  • Give each of the 75,000 attendees of the Super Bowl a free year of web hosting and five coupons to pass to friends, each good for a free year of web hosting.
  • Make goodwill by supporting Goodwill – donate 240,000 pairs of kid's shoes or blankets for needy kids.

For those 'less needy' but still a generous offer...

  • Target folks with existing high-speed cable-modems at home. Offer to pay a free month ($39.95) of their current high-speed modem bill for switching or starting a site with GoDaddy. Offer would be good for the first 60,000 interested.
  • A la WKRP - Drop over 4,000 desktop computers ($600 each) onto the crowd at Alltel Stadium during the Super Bowl game. Have the home page of the browser set to

Target Audience

  • Run a 4-color print ad each month for two years in the following magazines which reach a GoDaddy audience:
  • MacAddict (2 page spread) -> $273k per year
  • Wired Magazine (1/2 page ad) -> $166k per year
  • PC Magazine (full page) -> $761k per year

On the other hand, choose three additional magazines and only run a year's worth of full-page ads.

  • Become the source of choice for future domain/host users. Give graduating tech-college students their own free domain. You could create nearly 27,000 users and evangelists (that's 5,400 per US state) who would potentially buzz about your service.

Broad Audience

  • For the entire next 52 weeks place a 4-color ad in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Have your ad be clever, engaging and change it every week. Like the Sunday comics, surprise us. That's about $2.08 M right there and uses up that money.
  • Reach the 3.1 M subscribers of Sports Illustrated and run 10 4-color adds next year in their national edition -> $2.4 M

With all that said, I hope we eat our words and we all get re-schooled on what the Super Bowl can do for an advertiser. I hope it's an incredibly fruitful marketing spend... and you 'make a name for yourself.'

You Go, Daddy.


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Love your ideas, Paul! Especially the "Be Generous" ones.

Your idea of giving each of the 75,000 attendees of the Super Bowl a free year of web hosting and five coupons to pass to friends, each good for a free year of web hosting is brilliant!

If Mr. Parsons really wants to create some buzz, he needs to think less like Donald Trump, and more like Richard Branson.

1&1 Communications did this very well. They offered (through the web and major tech mags) 3 YEARS of free hosting. I have been an evangelist for them since to my friends and customers, migrating customers from other hosting companies, and thinking they are awesome.

They turned me into a customer, it is that simple.

For the record, does all my domains for now. But their judgment in running a Super Bowl ad has me reconsidering my relationship. If that is there idea of marketing, I think that I may want a more stable place for my registrar.

reading this post, I realized that the Super Bowl Ad might be a good thing. When I mention GoDaddy to som people, they've never heard of them. Maybe that will be different after the Super Bowl and when I mention "Go Daddy", they'll go "yeah... I've heard of them". Just that glimmer of recognition is all it takes to make a sale, sometimes.

Think less like 'The Donald' and more like Sir Richard?

You mean create a horrible rip-off television show?

I mean, it's not as bad as The Benefactor -- but still...

Just kidding Jackie.
Couldn't miss the opp for an easy wisecrack. :)

I get the points being made here on getting more value and word of mouth by DOING something big rather than spending big -- and I completely agree. At least 99% of my domains are registered through GoDaddy, and I even use their hosting for a few of them.

It's nice to see Mr. Parsons respond to the postings -- he obviously seems to understand we're passionate about his company and want to make sure it lives up to our own standards and expectations.

...but at least he has promised the ad won't say "Who's Yer GoDaddy?" !

Really great ideas - especially the ones to "donate" web addresses to NGOs, or to run alternative advertising, with a much better reach.

Or, improve customer service. As simple as that. While they got better over the years, there are still people out there that complain about GoDaddy (I was one, for once). Great service creates great word of mouth

Anyone who has read the book "The Tipping Point" can draw the connection between this GoDaddy situation and the stickiness example in the book of Columbia House's Golden Box in TV Guide. It's not total impressions of an ad that matter; it's total impressions of an ad that STICK.

More effective than the ad itself might be all the free advertising (buzz) created by the decision to purchase the ad...

An ad with this little repetition has got to be great. Does anyone out there know what agency will be doing this?

All have to say is this -- let the Go Daddy thing go, already. Why keep insulting a guy (CEO EGO) for having balls, being a risk-taker? Perhaps that's why the man and his company are successful. I'm sure didn't become what it is by listening to worrywarts and self-proclaimed marketing gurus. Good, great or mediocre commercial -- admit it -- that's a lot of eyeballs.

All I can say is that Mr. Parsons certainly told 'em. Very entertaining and very well said, Bob.

I have a few suggestions on how they should spend the money.

1) How about spending the money on a toll-free support and sales line? How many people are not calling sales because there isn't a toll-free number? (

2) Eliminate the charge of $99.00/year GoDaddy adds if you want to be a reseller. (

3) Add a search box and searching capabilities to their website. I had to use Google to do my searching for GoDaddy.

This money should be spent back into the company, not trying, in a desperate effort, to attract a few new customers. Spend it on your existing and loyal customers.

Michael Swartz
MJS Web Solutions

more of Candice Michelle (AKA Nikki Cappelli the Go Daddy Girl)

even more (NC-17)



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