Super Bowl ad for GoDaddy.com included wardrobe malfunction
An Internet domain-registrar company tried to capitalize on the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” scandal tonight with a commercial featuring a buxom young woman whose flimsy top repeatedly comes undone while testifying before “broadcast censorship hearings.”
The ad was produced by GoDaddy.com, of Scottsdale, Ariz. The company claims to be the largest Internet domain-name registrar. GoDaddy.com hyped its ad as “the year’s funniest and most entertaining commercial spot. Considering the fact that Super Bowl ads score just as big with fans as the game itself, that’s a tall order. But in its own take on this year’s media censorship debate, GoDaddy.com is likely to be the most talked about Super Bowl XXXIX ad.”
While a longer version of the commercial that aired was rejected by the Fox Television Network, the aired version seemed certain to reignite the nationwide controversy that erupted after last year’s Super Bowl halftime show featuring Janet Jackson’s top coming undone, baring her breast.
“The ad campaign is a light-hearted approach to the censorship hysteria while inviting Internet users to ‘make a name with Go Daddy,'” explained the company.
A statement from the company continued: “You’ve never seen any advertising like Go Daddy’s, which is far and away the most sassy of this year’s Super Bowl and will build awareness of Go Daddy’s industry-low prices for domain-name registration and related Internet services. More than any other registrar in the world, Go Daddy enables individuals and businesses to acquire, create and safeguard their unique identities and brands on the Internet. Its core businesses are domain-name registration, Web site hosting, secure SSL certificates and Web-based e-mail accounts. In addition, the company offers Web site development and email marketing tools, search engine optimization, a shopping cart, merchant accounts and more – all of which facilitate secure, reliable e-Commerce transactions.”
GoDaddy.com claims to be “very profitable” and ranked as the eighth fastest-growing technology company in 2004 among the Inc. 500.
The ad reportedly came about when GoDaddy.com founder Bob Parsons told ad-agency executive Paul Cappelli, “I would love to have a beautiful woman with a nice ample chest with my company name across her shirt.”
Between September and early December, Cappelli and his staff worked on 50 scripts that included Parsons’ idea and 25 more that didn’t. The independent New York agency and Parsons finally agreed on the idea of a Senate hearing in which a woman wearing a GoDaddy.com T-shirt auditions for the commercial.
“Initially, the panel was going to be made up of old men dressed as nuns,” Cappelli told AdWeek. “I just wanted the image to be people who were out-of-touch religious fundamentalists.”
The commercial was designed to have a C-SPAN feel and the ad includes a logo for G-SPIN in the corner frame.
The idea of poking fun at broadcast censorship “seemed the most topical,” Cappelli says, “and we just thought it really had the potential to be drop-dead funny. And it also had a message to it. The message really is that there does seem to be a censorship feeling around the networks. When one small group of people raise their voices, everyone else has to cower in the corner. It was kind of a joke about what happened last year, and it’s gotten worse since then.”
The 30-second ad reportedly cost $2.4 million.
“They’ve certainly gotten their money out of the ads,” Phoenix public relations executive Nick Quan told the Arizona Republic. “They couldn’t have cost much more than $100,000 to produce, and they’ve already gotten millions of dollars worth of publicity.”
While GoDaddy’s original commercial made it past Fox’s censors, a similar one, produced for a second Super Bowl spot subsequently purchased by GoDaddy, was quickly rejected. That ad is one of several commercials produced for Sunday’s 39th annual Super Bowl that have been rejected or pulled by their creators.
One ad rejected by the Fox Network featured legendary actor Mickey Rooney promoting Airborne, the natural cold remedy. The commercial shows the 84-year-old Rooney in a sauna, dressed in a towel.
Mickey Rooney said to be miffed Fox Network rejected his towel-malfunction ad designed for Super Bowl
When someone behind him coughs, a startled Rooney overreacts, jumping up, screaming and leaving, as he drops his towel. His bare behind was exposed for about two seconds. Executives with Airborne say the ad is not sexual, likening it to showing a baby’s bottom.
Ford Motor Co. pulled a planned commercial with a clergyman “lusting” over a Lincoln Mark LT pickup truck when a group representing victims of sexual abuse by priests complained.
Anheuser-Busch, the game’s biggest advertiser, pulled an ad spoofing the Janet Jackson fiasco at last year’s Super Bowl after consulting with the Fox and the National Football League.
The Janet Jackson incident drew a $550,000 indecency fine for CBS, which is appealing the decision.
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