GoDaddy, one of the largest web hosting companies, has not been known for their somber professionalism in marketing. What they have been known for are Superbowl commercials involving scantily clad women in racy situations. They also got a lot of criticism earlier this year for their support of SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Although many users found GoDaddy’s advertising choices to be sexist and offensive, even more of their customers switch web hosting providers in protest of the support for SOPA, fearing that it would harm websites whose content is user generated.
In response to the boycott, GoDaddy reneged on their support for SOPA and now it looks like they will be cleaning up their advertising act as well. Last week, the company announced that they would be hiring a new ad agency who will be taking their commercials in a new direction. Although they are under new ownership, all of the people involved will be staying involved, including founder Jim Parsons, and racecar driver and “GoDaddy Girl” Danica Patrick. Parsons said the move was a natural part of growing up, comparing the company to a “frat boy” is graduating college and moving on.
I’ve never been a huge fan of GoDaddy’s marketing campaigns but if I was looking for a new webhost I don’t know if I would have let it stop me. But now I’ll be interested to see how long it will take for GoDaddy to be forgiven by consumers who were avoiding the company because of their advertising. I don’t know if those who left while GoDaddy was supporting SOPA ever came back and I don’t know if people who were offended by the commercials will be willing to make the switch now. Although this may help gain new clients who don’t remember the arguably sexist and demeaning advertising, for others, it may just be too little too late.