Earlier this week, Go Daddy released what was supposed to be a blockbuster Super Bowl ad featuring a lost puppy.
View the spot here:
The spot ends featuring a reunion with the pup and its owner and the revelation that the woman had just sold the dog on a website hosted and created by Go Daddy. The Internet response to the ad was swift with countless comments on Twitter and other social media demanding that the spot be removed due to its insensitivity and seemingly careless promotion of puppy mills.
Go Daddy responded to the backlash and quickly pulled the ad from the game and indicated that they had received the message loud and clear. See their response here.
Now, we wait.
Go Daddy has an opportunity. With any crisis response, how you react is nearly as important as what caused the issue in the first place. Many people will argue that any publicity is good publicity and that the ad (which still remains available online) is providing brand impressions for the popular web hosting site.
While this philosophy certainly has merit, what Go Daddy could do and should do is take this opportunity to embrace a cause that clearly has enough of a passionate fan base to get an ad pulled from the largest sporting event of the year and cost the advertiser millions of dollars in production.
Instead of running another random spot, Go Daddy should quickly produce an ad in response. The new spot should feature Go Daddy CEO Blake Irving volunteering at an animal shelter. Offer to host or design sites for animal rescue organizations for free. Go Daddy could come out of this a hero if they respond quickly, appropriately and with the hearts and concerns of the public in mind.
Any crisis is an opportunity to communicate with the public about your brand. It is a chance to showcase your response with class, dignity and humility.
If you have questions about how to shape your brand, how to respond in a crisis situation, or any general advertising or production inquiry, contact us here at the Wheelhouse.