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Driver stars in tame Go Daddy ad
[February 06, 2010]

Driver stars in tame Go Daddy ad

Feb 06, 2010 (The Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- In comparison with past commercials, the Go Daddy ad scheduled to run during the Super Bowl telecast Sunday is tame. Yes, it stars IndyCar driver and "Go Daddy Girl" Danica Patrick, but the on-screen subject matter doesn't contain any "wardrobe malfunctions" shouldn't offend viewers. In "Spa," Patrick is getting a lavish massage when the masseuse breaks into a spontaneous Go Daddy Girl audition.

When she rips open the front of her shirt, the masseuse is wearing a "Go Daddy" T-shirt.

The commercial is a last-minute substitute for another ad that passed the censors at CBS, the network telecasting the Super Bowl, but ran into potential legal problems.

Go Daddy pulled "Movies" when it was unable to reach licensing agreements with various movie studios.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Go Daddy, founded by former Cedar Rapids resident Bob Parsons in 1997, has used Super Bowl commercials to build brand recognition and interest in its products. Go Daddy is the largest Internet domain name registrar in the world.

Elizabeth Driscoll, Go Daddy vice president of public relations, said five commercials were submitted to CBS for ap proval. Driscoll said the network rejected "Lola," a commercial featuring a decidedly effeminate former NFL football player who has launched his own line of lingerie using a Go Daddy domain name and Web site.

"CBS said the commercial had the potential to offend a significant number of viewers and it really wasn't interested in negotiating for modifications," Driscoll said. "A lot of times networks will offer up changes to get the ad approved. CBS just rejected it without comment." Driscoll said "Spa" will be shown in the first quarter and another approved commercial, "News," will be shown in the fourth quarter. She said the fifth commercial approved by CBS, which she declined to name or explain, will be unveiled later this year.

Not surprisingly, "Lola" has received the most hits on Go Daddy.

com from those interested in previewing the commercials. Driscoll said a survey of those viewing the "Banned" commercial found overwhelming approval.

"Ninety-three percent -- at last check -- thought it was not offensive," she said. "They labeled it 'funny' or 'hilarious,' but did not feel it was offensive." While Driscoll declined to say how much Go Daddy was spending to air the commercials, she did not dispute that it was between $5 million and $6 million based on the quoted $2.5 million to $3 million cost for a 30-second commercial.

"Bob Parsons thinks we all take the Super Bowl censorship thing too seriously," she said.

"He says the Super Bowl should be the time to have a little fun and a good laugh, so we try to entertain as well." Driscoll said Parsons realized early on that a 30-second commercial would not be long enough to explain registering an Internet domain name.

"Bob decided that an edgy ad would get the brand out there and viewers would visit our Web site," Driscoll said. "We post the unrated versions of the commercials on our Web site on Super Bowl Sunday." Parsons recently announced plans to move local Go Daddy operations to 1 Parsons Dr. in Hiawatha. The building once housed Parsons' former company, Parsons Technology, before it was sold to Intuit.

-- Comments: (319) 398-8366; [email protected] 010 The Gazette (C) 2 To see more of The Gazette, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2010, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email [email protected], call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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