Earlier today we previewed GoDaddy’s Super Bowl spot on a popular talk show, and shortly after a controversy started to swirl about Buddy, our puppy, being sold online. The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad.

We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress over the past two years, advancing the GoDaddy brand as a company that cares a great deal about small business and is in their corner to help them succeed. People increasingly know who we are, what we do and who we do it for.  At the end of the day, our purpose at GoDaddy is to help small businesses around the world build a successful online presence. We hoped our ad would increase awareness of that cause. However, we underestimated the emotional response—and we heard that loud and clear.

The net is we are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You’ll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh.

Finally, rest assured, Buddy came to us from a reputable and loving breeder in California. He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer and he lives permanently with one of our longtime employees.

56 thoughts on “Changing Course on GoDaddy Advertising

    1. I just saw your CEO on the news this morning, the day after he and your company gave in to the disgusting and humorless scum that complained about your puppy commercial. They are the minority, the bowl floaters. And to be clear I am not talking about all of them. There are the weak minded fools who get sucked in. But they need others, like the GoDaddy of old, to set good examples for them, lest the Bowl-Floating Bullies frighten them into submission.
      Instead he and GoDaddy just joined them. You are fools and have now become part of the problem.

      I would normally go in to detail here about how completely dangerous and intrinsically Fascist – intellectually – the concept of Political ‘Correctness’ is, but ‘pearls before swine…’ I unfortunately had to just renew my domains with your company, but I will be moving them to another hosting service because GoDaddy gave in to the ‘free speech terrorist’s’ demands.

      I came to GoDaddy from Yahoo! after watching your first Superbowl ad. I am now leaving because you have made a 180 degree switch in your ‘sense of life.’

      Go to hell, losers.

      1. I think GoDaddy is a very professional company and they are the biggest and the best because they operate 24/7 they are global and they are well resourced. You ring them and its not a bunch of people in overseas countries that dont speak English every time I ring I get an Australian living in Australia or an American living in the USA. The technical information they provide is second to none and I am on several hundred IT lists on twitter @nickfounder so I know their competitors and I chose them willingly. They are affordable and I would freely recommend them. In fact I even have a link to them on my own website and I am not paid to do that I am a paying customer of theirs.
        Nick Founder
        nickfounder.com

    2. There was nothing wrong with your commercial. There is nothing wrong with selling dogs. There IS something wrong when free speech is blocked just because it is not politically correct. I wish someone would stand up to the animal rights people and say that “You can’t dictate to me what I can and can’t do or say.” Our free speech rights should not be censored by so called animal rights. Besides animals are property, they do not have rights.

  1. I am a responsible breeder whose website, which showcases our accomplishments, has been hosted by GoDaddy for many many years. This ill thought out PR stunt has caused me to give serious consideration to rethinking with my advertising and hosting dollars. You want my business but you insult what I do, then expect me to be a loyal customer, I think not. I do not sell puppies in this manner, and reacted in horror to this proposed advertisement. I can tell you that I was appalled at this potential Superbowl Advertisement for a variety of reasons. As you, Blake Irving said in your Twitter feed “it was supposed to be fun and funny” …but sadly it was neither. I also participate in rescue, not only of my breed but of others in need, so this hit me as being a totally irresponsible and unacceptable PR decision.

    Thank you for withdrawing this offensive advertisement, now take the money you make off of me, and others like me, and do a public service announcement about responsible dog/cat/animal ownership!

    1. I seriously don’t understand, how was the ad offensive to you, a breeder?
      Also, the petition that pulled the ad specifically mentioned private breeders as something they are against. Doesn’t that offend you more?

  2. GoDaddy, A BIG Thank You from many animal lovers. This would have sent the wrong message. The true message to send is to get your pet from a SHELTER, RESCUE, or a RESPONSIBLE BREEDER.
    Thank you again!

  3. I am very happy to see that you have pulled the Puppy advert. I really hope this was not a stunt to get more publicity, I would be very disappointed if that is the case.

  4. Thank you for pulling that ad…I volunteer at Foothills Animal Rescue which is not far from your offices in Scottsdale..Foothills is on Pima Road and Pinnacle Peak. Maybe GoDaddy could make a nice donation to Foothills in support of animal rescues..it would be great PR and help out a fabulous animal rescue!!

  5. Yep, ad is a bust! All you had to do was change the womans’ comments to indicate that she used Godaddy to try and get the puppy found. Even though the ad was shot animal-friendly, it appeared very callous and broke my heart. I do some rescue work, and would have taken him in immediately! Glad he got adopted though., You need some new folks with some more innovative ideas than this one at Godaddy!

  6. So the commercial is just fine. You want to tweak it? Just to make everyone happy? Last shot: Danica pulls the van away from the front of a house. You see a small child in a wheel chair holding a puppy. PETA will poop. Lol

    1. I agree! A simple tweak showing a happy child cuddling with his/her brand new puppy would have been a perfect ending that showcased the power of a GoDaddy hosted website.

  7. Thank you Thank you for pulling that ad. In future it might be wiser to help promote responsible ownership and to get your next family member from a reputable breeder, rescue or shelter.
    Again, thank you for listening.

  8. THANK YOU GO DADDY! I really appreciate you making the hard decision to pull a very costly Superbowl ad!!! A really great example of a corporation acting responsibly. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  9. Thanks for pulling the puppy ad. All you have to do is delete her last words
    Love the fact that it finally identifies what Go Daddy is. From all previous ads that I have seen you have no idea what the product is. Last year I actually had to google Go Daddy to find out. The puppy commercial I think is your best commercial. It talks to all ages, race, sex, and income bracket without being offensive to any of them EXCEPT for that one line where you sold the dog

    Just my opinion but based on previous ads I would not have asked you to do my business

  10. I watched the puppy ad via Fox News website. I didn’t see anything to upset me about dog breeders or selling animals on-line. It’s simply a sign of the times.

    But, what I do think is cruel is your ad where a lady gets excited about making her first sale to someone outside her family. What’s cruel about it is having to watch it. If you guys paid money for that ad, you wasted your money. It is totally devoid of common sense to get that excited over a sale to any customer.

  11. Thank you for reconsidering airing this ad. You don’t know how much this means to animal advocates everywhere. 🙂

  12. Thank you for pulling the ad, it was way off the mark. Heartbreaking and disturbing. Not sure what you were thinking however again thank you for coming to your senses. Why not use your powers for good versus not evil next time?..

  13. I watched the ad…I understood she was a breeder. Sold a puppy using her Godaddy website. The puppy bounced out of the truck…went back to the breeder. No harm was done here. People are making way too much of this.

    I guess you should be upset with Budweiser too. What owner lets their puppy get out regularly and runaway to the neighbors farm?

    Come on people…it’s just a commercial.

    1. Come on people. The add was what it was; a great commercial for GoDaddy mimicking a tired beer commerical. Why not jump on Budweiser for advocating people to drink alcohol and could go out an kill people driving. I thought it was so funny and NOT indicating cruelty to anyone or anything. You people need to get a grip on life. Reminds me of pulling the “Interview.” Why not also pull the adds on half naked women being exploited in the commercials. Let companies run their companies. SHOW THE COMMERCIAL GODADDY!

      1. HERE HERE! I am so disappointed in Go Daddy. I love the company and their services, but this pandering to a few without any sense of humor is totally against what Go Daddy was founded upon. Man Up Go Daddy & grow a pair – most of America will love this and see it for the satire that it is.

    2. Thanks Will for a dose of reality.

      I am so very disappointed that Go Daddy would cave to those without any sense of humor.

      What else would Cruella de Vil do than sell this loveable fur ball?

      1. Will: Exactly right. Causal realities not-with-standing here.

        GoDaddy: When you listen to fools, the Mob rules…

  14. Thank you Mr. Irving for pulling the ad. When I saw it, I cried. I’m sure that was not the reaction you were anticipating.

    1. Are you serious? You cried because a puppy was sold? The puppy wasn’t killed, it wasn’t raised or treated inhumanely, it was simply sold, which is an incredibly common – and not in the least bit offensive – thing that happens. I don’t get it – honestly!

      1. Seriously, has anyone noticed that the majority of people who are so “outraged” by this ad (I haven’t taken the time to bother watching it, honestly) are the same time of overly-sensitive, politically correct crowd who would complain no matter what they would show? Mostly women, who have too many cats.

        I’m saying this as a proud GoDaddy customer who is very much digging the major changes they have made in terms of quality of service/support and in their corporate image in the industry and among the general public since Blake has taken over as the CEO. No more stupid “T&A” style advertising and simply relying upon the bottom line being kept in the black by the absolute lowest common denominator type of customers – the ones who purchase domains and a hosting package that they will never use any of the features on, and that they are perfectly satisfied with — I have seen a huge increase in the quality of GoDaddy’s offerings, their commitment to service, their overall business ethics and most of all – a definite change in the types of customers they seem to be going after these days. It would make sense, given the acquisition of MediaTemple, which was a fast sinking ship (glad to have gotten off that one in time!), that they are going after the more internet and design-savvy, resource intensive-demanding customers — the restructuring and complete overhaul of their hosting services division, and the changing of the prices for their cPanel and WHM VPS accounts vs what they offered in comparison (a weirdly re-tooled “resellers” version of cPanel-powered linux hosting that was on the same servers as the shared hosting, or at least seemed to be). Their response time has been so impressive, and the staff are genuinely the most professional and courteous staff that I have dealt with, of any major internet company in YEARS.

        So to all the people complaining about the video, seirously, find yourseves something better to do. I am saying this as the proud rescue father of a 9 year old Chihuahua with health problems who was certainly due to be euthanized (it’s a sad fact of life that there is a major overpopulation issue in the United States and worldwide, of both dogs and cats = and half of you posting, google it yourself, but your beloved PETA is responsible for funding a good amount of these shelters who utilize the ‘kill list’ methodology of operation.)

        I think overall Blake made the right decision, because GoDaddy is still a company that by and large is looking to repair their public image, after a lot of people either were sick and tired of the girls in bikini ads/”go to GoDaddy to see the rest of this *banned* ad” (implying pornographic content, etc.) – which made them associate GD with a sleazy company, one that offered poor service, and one that didn’t take their customers’ business wants seriously. This was also previously evident in some of GD’s policies pertaining to domain names being mysteriously deactivated – ones that were simply exercising their right to free speech, and things like that – but this was in the years of Bob Parsons who had no clue how to run any company, let alone a huge tech company, and I’m so glad to see he’s gone.

        Anyway, keep up the great work Blake! You have a convert in me and I’ve consolidated the majority of my several thousand dollars spent yearly over various web services to be instead all joined together here through the offerings GoDaddy has (if applicable), and I’ve been so happy I’ve made that change thus far.

  15. Blake, whereas I’m glad the ad has been pulled, stop and think about it. There are thousands upon thousands of animals put to death every year because not enough people adopt and puppy mills crank out more and more dogs. From Thanksgiving on, the heartbreaking ads for the ASPCA are on every channel trying to raise funds to help save animals destroyed by cruelty. It’s not like it was a secret. In addition, Budweiser had continually had people in laughter and tears over the years with their Clydesdale and puppy commercials. They are well thought out stories of love and bonding and humor (love it when the horse stops the car to get his puppy friend back… the look on the driver’s face is priceless). They are cast perfectly and directed like films.

    I ALWAYS recommend people use GoDaddy. You ALWAYS have nice, knowledgeable people to answer the phone and help me even at 3 am on Christmas morning or midnight on New Year’s Eve. But seriously, what were they thinking? You don’t mess with dogs and you don’t F__ with the Budweiser ads. (We look forward to them being better every year.)

  16. I was appalled that any company would consider running an ad like this. I was grateful to read that it was pulled (even though it can be found to view). It was great to read that the puppy has a home and even apparently a ‘job’. What I don’t understand is why GoDaddy chose to go through a breeder to begin with? I do understand there are reputable breeders out there. However, this was YOUR chance and the company’s chance to show how to give back to the community. You could have used a rescue dog and how a rescue could utilize your company for their website.

    It sad to realize that this ad went all the way up your chain to being produced and released and no one within your company thought it was wrong? Might I suggest that you and your employees take the time to learn about the shelters and rescues in your areas by visiting and volunteering. Maybe by the time the 2016 Superbowl comes around you will have a whole new approach on how to reach millions of viewers.

    Sincerely
    Vicky

    PS where I am from it is illegal to have a dog loose in the bed of a truck.

  17. I know you have heard from 1,000’s of breeders but I want you to know that I consider it a huge responsibility to place each of my puppies or adult trained dogs in appropriate homes. If I don’t believe that the potential puppy owner will give my baby their full love and commitment, I move on. Please know that for all reputable breeders; our heart and soul goes with every puppy we place. Puppies are not a commodity. They are family.

  18. Godaddy, yall are a bunch of pansies, caving in to these crazy chicks coming on here talking about how “cruel” and “irresponsible” that commercial is…. It’s a funny, well thoug… well… a funny commercial… THAT’S IT!!!! GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!!! Buddy dont know what he’s doing- he’s concussed. And he told me in a zen trance that he dont harbor a grudge against being sold to a family who is going to take better care of him than to bounce him out the back of a ratty pick-up.

    hyper sensitive idiots are ruining this country.

    1. Sumtimeitbeslikedat:

      Thanks for a dose of sanity among all the insane comments. When did we become so sensitive of a country that a small group of people without any sense of humor can cause this much uproar? The real comedy is that these few shriekers crying foul have caused this hilarious satire to explode on TV and Internet and it will be seen far more than it would have been seen on the Super Bowl. I am very disappointed in Go Daddy for caving to a few loons.

      Great Comments!

  19. Shame on you for not being more aware of public opinion and love of pets. Congrulations on removing the ad. It proves social media has a huge impact on business. Thanks for your efforts

  20. I have the feeling that you put this out so the public would be outraged. Your ad people either are brilliant because they knew this would happen and you would get free ad time and then show the one you have in the can for the game day or they are the most insensitive idiots in your company.

  21. I for one am offended that one group’s bigotry has caused, nay forced, GoDaddy to pull a perfectly harmless and humorous ad. In this ad, no one and no animal was hurt; nothing obscene or immoral was exhibited. It was an ironic ad spoofing animal-journey-home-type stories. It was funny.
    But nowadays, if someone doesn’t like something, they must get it removed from everyone else’s view. That is bigotry.
    They missed the joke.

  22. WOW! What a huge disappointment that a few people that cannot understand satire have forced the best commercial ever produced by Go Daddy to be pulled. What does this say about our society? What does this say about Go Daddy who was once known for cutting edge commercial I hope you reconsider, It would become your best publicity move – possibly ever. You are already getting play after play on all the news outlets. So, the “Dog” is already out of the bag. Imagine the play you will get if you go back to the cutting edge commercials Go Daddy is known for? For those that can’t take or understand satire. they never will – whether you do the brave thing or the cave in cowardice to a few with no sense of humor.

  23. “GoDaddy brand as a company that cares a great deal about small business and is in their corner to help them succeed. People increasingly know who we are, what we do and who we do it for. At the end of the day, our purpose at GoDaddy is to help small businesses around the world build a successful online presence.” And YOU DO IT VERY WELL, and you’re an excellent domain registrar so STICK to what YOU DO BEST; ‘cuz this was definitely not your finest moment. 🙁 🙁

  24. Wow. I as well as many have enjoyed watching the ideas that smart, imaginative people come up with for commercials. And to pull a commercial because some people can’t have a sense of humor and see it as a parody in the light it is, is totally absurd. It goes along the same lines as firing somebody because someone didn’t like a comment they made.

    It is sad to see that GoDaddy is bowing down to a few people and helping lead this country to the direction it is heading. You could have ended the commercial with something comical: “No puppies were harmed in this filming,” or supportive: “Please adopt from No-Kill animal shelters.”

    But you chose to take the easy way out. That is not what I have seen in the many previous years of your advertisements.

    Good luck with peer pressure.

  25. Thank you for pulling the “puppy” ad. Some topics are just not suitable for satire. A cold hearted puppy breeder who smiles and exclaims, “ship ’em”..is one of those topics. Internet sales of any animal may be easily discounted as a “sign of the times” but anyone who does it is irresponsible and greedy. Internet pets is literally buying a vet bill and heartache.

    Animals should not be viewed as consumer items.

    Shelter and humane societies are full of pets… That is the best place to start.

  26. Just saw the commercial play. U done good!!!

    PS. I don’t think your customers mind “goofy” commercials so looking forwards to 2016, but no baby animals please

  27. I find it infuriating that there are any negative comments at all about the commercial, not everyone that breeds puppies for sale could or should be considered a “Puppy Mill”.

    Ok , so it is admirable to take a stand for adopting animals, but when these people vilify the others for choosing to sell puppies or kittens or any other animal out here they are disrespectful.

    I find it outrageous that so called animal lovers can or other rights advocates can decide who is and is not a “good guy”.

    Do you have the right to say selling animals is wrong??? Do you feel that these advocates should dictate what type of dog should be made available to people? Is it ok not to choose to adopt a dog when my son asks for one?

    I not only feel you should run this commercial BUT I think you should run a series of similar commercials, HOW ABOUT a commercial where a child asks for a certain type of dog (ex. Jack Russell Terrier) but the parent(s) take the kid to an adoption location and the child is not happy with any animal he sees.

    My point is this world has gotten way to PC you have allowed these haters to climb into my world and dictate what I can and cant see on TV and dictate how I should and shouldn’t feel ……………NO ONE HAS THAT RIGHT!!!!!!

  28. You just needed one more scene on your commercial. Little girl get puppy, Puppy licks little girls face, caption – THE CUSTOMER WINS WITH GODADDY.COM

  29. After the unnecessary negative comments seen on the web for the puppy commercial, I am very glad that after all GoDaddy was part of the NASCAR Ad which I personally feel like it sent out a very strong positive message. It represented equality for both men & women and most importantly to all the young boys and girls that dream of one day becoming a professional NASCAR driver just like Danica

  30. I am a big fan of Godaddy ad. They are really doing very innovative when commercialization. Specially that rajesh Verma one is simply awesome and meaningful.

  31. Why would you choose to alienate the young and the old from each other by portraying a young woman so disrespectful of her elders that she would wake up her bedridden grandmother and yell at her in such a repulsive way and that she would yell at and spit on the picture of a dead relative? Even though it was acting, the fact that it is still on the air and is tolerated shows the high level of disrespect that permeates our country and you are feeding it. Surely you are a strong enough company that you could rely on some graciousness in your ads instead of having to stoop as low as you can get to degrade and disrespect the elderly (as well as husbands).Surely, as a supposedly innovative company you would have people in charge of your ad campaigns that could come up with something that would bridge the generation gap and at the same time show those who might try to kill someone’s dream that they can succeed without anyone’s approval and then portray a switch in thinking – a pride in the dreamer’s success. I’m sorry but that ad does nothing but sicken me of your company every time I see it. Surely you could generate some class. I would not use your company because of your disrespect and I would not support the work of a young woman with the kind of attitude like the one you promote in your ad. You are painting the picture that after you get ahead you have to be nasty and vengeful and spit on the people closest to you. No thanks!!!

  32. Your ad where the woman says stick it to people who have not supported her dreams is SO annoying I run to the remote to mute it. I get the sentiment but the construction is just jarring. It has made me notice you because I wish I never had to hear it again, I doubt your intention was so negative. That’s my opinion anyway

  33. Terrible “Stick It” commercial! Annoying woman yelling at her bedridden grandmother and at her husband’s ashes.All I could remember about it was how much I disliked her!

  34. Actually the ads plays the major role of getting exposed among the people. Rapidly it will increase their exposure so thereby they need an expert for the advertiser. I disagree with your point of we underestimate the emotional response. Apart from this it will be useful for many peoples.

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