Go Daddy Sets Stage for Online Super Bowl Controversy

Domain registrar Go Daddy, which successfully leveraged controversy over its risqué Super Bowl ad last year, is already trying to stir up word-of-mouth discussion of its advertising online.

The company this week called a press conference to talk about its Super Bowl advertising plans, and then issued a statement saying it was in negotiations with ABC’s standards and practices unit about approving its ad for broadcast.

“I believe the ad we currently have submitted will be rejected,” Go Daddy founder and president Bob Parsons wrote in his blog. “When this happens we will have to decide to either go back to the cutting room floor, or raise the white flag.”

Last year, the company’s ad — which featured a scantily clad woman and parodied the previous year’s “wardrobe malfunction” — sparked much talk, both positive and negative. Go Daddy capitalized on the controversy by discussing its decision-making in Parsons’ blog, and by releasing a long-form, Internet-only version of the Super Bowl ad. At the time, word-of-mouth marketing experts praised the company’s use of the Internet to get buzz started before the game and keep it going afterwards.

Clearly, the company hopes to repeat last year’s performance. Go Daddy Saturday will release an Internet-only version of one of its new television ads, which will begin running during the NFL playoffs leading up to the big game.

“This, like our other ‘Internet only’ versions, should be a lot of fun,” Parsons wrote.

Parsons said there will be an Internet-only version of its planned Super Bowl ad as well. Whether it will actually appear on television is unclear.

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