GoDaddy, a.k.a. the Internet service company with blatantly sexist commercials and advertising strategies, is singing a new tune. Last week, the New York Times reported that GoDaddy is releasing a new commercial that is a far cry from the provocative ads of the past.
Due to an outcry from women everywhere, the company, and chief executive Blake Irving, are shifting away from overtly sexy ads, and instead are implementing a campaign that everyone can get behind. The new ad features Jean-Claude Van Damme (a big change from Danica Patrick and the busty “Go Daddy Girls” of advertisements past), and a new slogan: “It’s Go Time.”
Does this make you want to buy a domain name? Maybe...if you have the brain of a 13 year old boy!
This change of heart within the company’s branding comes after increased pressure from female consumers, particularly within the online DIY commerce site Etsy, where women run many of the shops. Executives at Etsy were receiving significant complaints from their clients, and informed GoDaddy that if the advertisements continued, they would have to take their business elsewhere.
In a similar vein, Miss Representation started the campaign: #notbuyingit, to call out sexist brands on Twitter. In 2013, during the GoDaddy Superbowl ad featuring Israeli model Bar Refaeli and actor Jesse Heiman, the hashtag was used 8,000 times.
Social media is becoming increasingly important in the world of online branding, and it looks like GoDaddy could no longer ignore its unhappy consumers. Women in business are a steadily growing group, and many of them need websites. For GoDaddy it was a matter of readjusting their market strategy, or be at risk of losing a huge demographic.
Irving admitted to the New York Times that in the past, his company’s advertisements were “on the edge of inappropriate.”
Inappropriate? Really? No…
The new ad, featuring Van Damme, is already getting plenty of positive reviews on YouTube and other social networking sites, proving that the GoDaddy commercials of the past aren’t the only way to successfully sell a service, especially in an industry with many up-and-coming women entrepreneurs. Those who raised their voices at the unfairness of the branding campaign have proven that while sex sells, sexism doesn’t.