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GoDaddy Lets Small Business Owners Pitch Danica Patrick at 125 MPH

  |  February 26, 2014   |  Comments

GoDaddy is extending its focus on small businesses beyond the Super Bowl via The Big Leap, a campaign that asks consumers to watch videos of business pitches and vote for their favorites.

gd-social-0003-danicaThe 2014 Super Bowl marked a shift from sultry babes to small businesses for Web hosting company GoDaddy, which called itself "the world's top platform for small businesses" in a January press release.

But now that Super Bowl ad mania is over, the brand hopes to extend this new focus in a campaign that encourages dreamers to quit their day jobs and pursue their small business goals instead.

In The Big Leap, five entrepreneurs with 9-to-5 jobs pitch their dream jobs to racecar driver and GoDaddy spokesperson Danica Patrick while she takes three laps at 125 mph at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The brand posted videos of each pitch on its website and is asking consumers to vote for their favorites.

The winner will receive a six-month salary to focus on his or her business.

Participating entrepreneurs include benevolent boot importer Kenny, jewelry designer Adrienne, athletic apparel activist KyleBBQ restaurateur Jamie, and toy creator Anne.

Along with the pitches, additional details about each entrepreneur are available on GoDaddy's Big Leap website. Video content is also posted on YouTube.

As of February 25, Adrienne and Jamie had the most views on YouTube, with about 17,000 and 12,600, respectively.

gd-social-0004-groupGoDaddy is asking consumers to vote on GoDaddy.com until March 2, when the winner will be announced by Patrick at the end of the last lap of the Nascar race at the Phoenix International Raceway.

According to Laura Messerschmitt, vice president of social media and advocacy for GoDaddy, the videos with Patrick were filmed in late January and went live just a few minutes before the brand's Super Bowl ad aired on February 2.

Fans can vote once a day throughout the voting period. As of February 25, the campaign has resulted in "tens of thousands" of votes, Messerschmitt says.

What's more, among people who visit the webpage, 20 percent are either voting or sharing, which is "significantly higher than we expected," she adds.

In order to identify entrepreneurial candidates, GoDaddy put out Craigslist ads for applicants in November and December of 2013. While she thought it would be hard to find people who have jobs they want to quit, "we found when we put out the ads, people responded and we had more people than we could have imagined to do it," Messerschmitt says. "We hit on something people feel strongly about."

According to the Hyfn rep, advertising agency Deutsch NY developed the core campaign concept, which encourages consumers to leave their jobs and follow their dreams, such as puppeteer Gwen who quit her job live during the Super Bowl in a video that has since racked up more than 700,000 views on YouTube.

"The reason we went with that creative was around how the GoDaddy brand is evolving into helping small businesses and to capture a sense of what's happening - the excitement you feel while you're doing it," Messerschmitt says. "From there, we began working with Hyfn about how to extend it into social."

The campaign targets "small businesses and people who want to support small businesses because GoDaddy itself has 12 million customers and many are small businesses."

GoDaddy is pushing the hashtag #LivetheDream to promote the campaign to its 185,000 followers and 621,000 fans.

"We have a vested interest in making sure we're supporting small businesses and we think that's a great message and thing to get out there to the public," Messerschmitt says. "It really taps into the whole American dream - I can make what I want to make and do what I want to do - and it's really inspiring."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Lacy

Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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