Cleavage, Controversy and a Puppy- A Look at GoDaddy Superbowl Commercials 2005 to Present

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It’s hard to argue the memorability of GoDaddy’s Superbowl ad campaigns. Since their first airing in 2005, GoDaddy has struggled to get what CEO Bob Parsons calls “appropriately edgy” ads approved for Prime Time T.V.

In years past, there have been two things you can count on when it comes to a GoDaddy commercial- Controversy and a whole lot of cleavage. Typically, the controversy arises as a direct result of said cleavage, or, the “over sexualization of women” as some would call it. However, their 2015 Superbowl ad took a whole different turn: No cleavage and a whole lot of controversy.

GoDaddy released their Superbowl 2015 ad spot earlier this week. Within hours, hundreds of thousands of angry viewers took to Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage. A Change.org petition was created to pull the ad, and gathered over 42,000 signatures in what became a “Confirmed Victory” just hours later.

Before we get to that ad, here is a look back at all of GoDaddy’s Superbowl commercials.

Superbowl XXXIX 2005
“Broadcast Hearing”

Superbowl XL 2006
“Send in the Godaddy Girl”
**I had to search far and wide to find this video. It took 13 revisions to get it approved**

Superbowl XLI 2007
“Marketing Department”

Superbowl XLII 2008
**The original ad was titled “Exposure” and featured Danica Patrick and animatronic beavers. The network deemed the spot “too racy” and rejected it. Instead, GoDaddy aired an ad called “Spot On” which directed viewers to their website to see the banned ad. The ad was a success, logging more than one million views of “Exposure”.

“Spot On”

“Exposure”

Superbowl XLIII 2009
“Baseball” and “Shower”
**GoDaddy purchased two spots for 2009. The following video features both commercials back-to-back.

Superbowl XLIV 2010
“Spa” and “News”
**GoDaddy again purchased two spots for 2010, both of which were banned. The banned version of “Spa” was released on the internet. “News” was used to replace the banned “Lola” commercial. All four videos are posted below.

“Spa” as aired

“Spa” internet only

“News”

“Lola”

Superbowl XLV 2011
“The Contract”

“The Contrat” full version

Superbowl XLVI 2012
“Body Paint”

Superbowl XLVII 2013
“Bar Refaelis Big Kiss”

“Bar Refaelis Big Kiss” Full version

Superbowl XLIX 2014
“Bodybuilder” and “Puppet Master”
**GoDaddy purchased two spots. The second, “Puppet Master” has also been called the “I Quit” spot, in which Gwen Dean quits her job on national television. According to a report by CNN, she is a real person who REALLY quit her job. 

“Bodybuilder”

“Puppet Master”

And finally-
Superbowl XLIX 2015
“The Journey Home”
Godaddy announced Tuesday that it was pulling this highly controversial ad that features an adorable little Golden Retriever puppy named Buddy who bounces out of the back of a truck. His humans have no idea he’s gone missing and Buddy is faced with a series of heartbreaking obstacles in his journey home. The ad pulls you in right away and you’re hoping for a Budweiser-type happy ending. Not the case here. In fact, the ad was originally intended to poke fun at Budweiser, who has a history of using puppies, and has been teasing an ad featuring a puppy for the big game on February 1. So why the controversy? Well, poor Buddy survives train tracks, highways, bridges and a rainstorm only to be boxed up and “shipped out,” all thanks to the breeder’s new website created on Godaddy.com.

In a release titled “We’re Listening, Message Received”, GoDaddy said, “This morning we previewed GoDaddy’s Super Bowl spot on a popular talk show, and shortly after a controversy started to swirl about Buddy, our puppy, being sold online. The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad…. The net result? We are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You’ll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh. Finally, rest assured, Buddy came to us from a reputable and loving breeder in California. He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer and he’s been adopted permanently by one of our longtime employees.”

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