GoDaddy.com, the web hosting and development company that has capitalized on eye-popping ads throughout the years, has done it again. However this time, the ad might have gone too far in pushing the envelope of good taste.
Ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday, the company released their annual submission to the slew of high-concept commercials. The spot features an adorable Golden Retriever puppy who undertakes an odyssey to find its way home after being lost on the road. The pup braves the elements, crosses wide countryside and finally reunites with its owner -only to be immediately sold online and shipped off on a GoDaddy delivery truck, driven by the company’s spokesperson Danica Patrick.
Backlash started almost immediately from animal advocacy groups (and anyone with a heart). Steffen Baldwin, president and CEO of the Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio stated, “Every year, animals are euthanized across America, over 7 million each year because lifetime commitments are seen as disposable commodities, able to be bought, traded and sold like an X Box.”
Alan Braslow, a New Jerseyan deeply enmeshed in the animal welfare world also described the spot as “extremely offensive and socially irresponsible.”
In a statement titled, “We’re Listening, Message Received”, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving touched on the intention of the ad but acknowledged things didn’t go quite as planned.
“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.”
So what do you think? Is this ad offensive and insensitive, or is it all in good fun? Chime in on the discussion. Leave a comment below, or head over to Facebook and Twitter with your response. We’ll be sharing them live on 2 KASA Style at 9am.