Love them or hate them, there is no denying Go Daddy's sex-based TV commercials designed to create a splash and introduce their brand to the world have been remarkably successful. Every year they have made a tradition out of having ads prepared that are "too hot" for the SuperBowl and get partially banned from airing. Then they publish them online, invite people to watch the full versions on their website and watch the traffic roll in. It is the ultimate awareness strategy, and has worked so well that Go Daddy now has a predictable new challenge: they need to grow up.
Now that the Go Daddy brand has been promoted aggressively for several years as a domain name hosting company, they need to go beyond simple awareness … and they need to establish trust. Sound familiar? It is a situation many other brands are likely to face at some point in their growth as well. Eventually, the most important thing shifts from getting people to know that you exist to something bigger.
Like any other domain name and hosting business online, Go Daddy's success doesn't depend on selling more domain names, but rather in providing the extended services such as hosting and web development that they provide for customers. The domains are a loss leader to jumpstart a relationship. Once you register a URL, the upsell starts. And the problem with the marketing is that it never did much to establish Go Daddy as a great partner who knows anything about technology. It was just a cheap place to get domain names.
The tempting thing for any brand is to abandon a previously effective strategy and start something entirely new. We see it all the time. Anyone see Jared from Subway lately? Yet for Go Daddy, their latest campaign shows that you don't need to throw away what worked in order to evolve. Their latest "Inside Out" marketing campaign, takes a funny and realistic approach to pairing the hot women they are known for featuring, with the "hot for technology" geeks who actually do the real work at Go Daddy.
Yes it plays up all the stereotypes, and yes it's still slightly offensive. But for a brand like Go Daddy – it constitutes growing up. The lesson any brand can take is that evolution doesn't always mean you need to throw out everything you've done in the past. If it works, keep it.