Priorities: Go Daddy 2015

Posted: January 29, 2015 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So I heard about this horrible commercial Go Daddy made for the Superbowl and then abruptly pulled. Given some of the racy content they did in years past, I figured they went too far, again. When I heard it was not their typical ad, and that it was about a puppy I decided to have a look. I was shocked—not by how bad it was but by how innocuous. See for yourself.

I mean I was in a little bit of shock because of the puppy flying out of the back of the truck, but anyone over the age of three would know that’s not a real dog. To me it’s a clever parody of the old touchy feely Budweiser commercials with an unseen twist that makes it a strong ad memorable ad. I didn’t see the puppy mill aspect of it the critics were complaining about. There weren’t millions of puppies is squalid conditions with Sarah McLachlan playing in the background, just a litter of pretty, well cared for puppies (for the most part). This looks more like a reputable breeder operation, and most dog owners wouldn’t have a pet without one of those. After years of gratuitous ads, this was a breath of fresh air.

But here’s the thing: GoDaddy has been doing ads for over a decade that one could argue are demeaning to women and few people had anything to say about it, but sell a puppy and the world comes to an end. Have we really gotten to the point where animals are more important than people? The uproar seems to have answered my question.

Of course this could all be hype. Someone I know posited a theory that GoDaddy never intended to run the spot. They just created a viral video they knew would create an uproar, get everyone talking and save themselves the over $4 million that a Superbowl ad costs. It’s plausible, but I have no idea if it’s true.

What can we learn from this?
1. Our priorities as a society are really messed up. When animals matter more than people a society is in decline.
2. Commercials done well, tell a story quickly and get an immediate response. All communicators would be wise to study them.
3. If you want to avoid controversy, don’t mess with a puppy!

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