No puppy love from GoDaddy ad

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Super Bowl commercials are beginning to appear and I’ve somehow managed to miss most of them. (As an advertising major in college, I always find them interesting.)

This one that I did see made me as unhappy as the thousands of people who wrote and tweeted to GoDaddy that the commercial was heartless and cruel. GoDaddy announced a day later they were pulling the ad and said a new and better one would appear during the Super Bowl.

Some sources are now floating the theory that the tasteless puppy commercial was a stunt to get attention and build anticipation for the next ad. Maybe. But angering America’s pet owners is a mighty big risk to take …

The red banner at the top of the video refers to the Budweiser commercial that inspired this one. Budweiser ads always get a big thumbs up from me. But this GoDaddy ad is enough to make me consider taking my one measly little account elsewhere.



Categories: advertising, video content

12 replies

  1. As much fun as some of these ads are to watch, particularly those from the Super Bowl, I try to remind myself that the people who make them don’t really care if the companies and/or products represented are actually worthy of the consumer’s support. This ad is no different as far as that goes. But it does have the distinction of adding a 3rd to the layers of mistrust, in the sense that it’s advertising a company that will apparently allow anyone, no matter how disgusting, to push their garbage across their platform. And, of course, those people are the real targets of the ad…

    • Well, they’re a domain name registrar. I doubt they worry much about who’s registering and using the names (although you can send complaints to them about particular sites). I can’t be too critical. PiedType is registered with them. This ad, though, whatever its intent, is offensive and unnecessary. If it turns out later to have been some kind of joke, I can only say it’s a miserable failure.

  2. Glad gd wised up and pulled it. I could’ve loved it had the pup been a gift for a little kid, or was starting training as a service animal, but because “home” sold him/her… makes the Bud commercial even better!

    • It just made me angry. Sucked me in immediately with a darling puppy getting bounced out of the truck (and worse, there’s a rock or something under the truck that made me think for a second that the pup had been run over). Then the dangerous trek to get home. Only to be sold!? Outrageous. Horrible trick or joke to pull on a dog lover.

      Bud’s ads have been my favorites for years.

  3. The reaction to this commercial has been quite interesting and even more interesting has been the responses from both sides. From my personal perspective, the Budweiser commercial and the GoDaddy commercial have simply brought to the surface an already ‘bubbling below the surface” issue within our society and one that will, I predict, eventually get notable national attention and debate.

    Dogs are for the most part, and in a very legal sense I might add, currently considered property… car, flower pot, couch, dog… all property. This cold categorization of dogs obviously goes against the grain of many dog-loving folks. But commercials such as the Budweiser commercial humanize both the horses and dogs while in reality the GoDaddy commercial does nothing more than treat the featured dogs as property. Not a cruel commercial whatsoever… unless you are one who humanizes dogs. Dogs are bred, bought and sold in large numbers on a daily basis to little acclaim.

    I have included a link, Pets Are Becoming People, Legally Speaking, that I thought was quite interesting and informative on this topic as appeared on the National Geographic website. 🙂

    • Not sure I want to go so far as to designate pets as people. But we’re leaning that way in Colorado. In Boulder, pet owners are now legally designated as “guardians” of their companion animals, although dogs are still considered “property.” And a proposed state law in 2003 would have designated dogs as “companions” rather than “property,” but did not pass.

  4. This ad was a bummer and deserved exorcism. But for a positive glow, take a gander at the new Bud commercial featuring a puppy and a Clydesdale. Heartwarming. Believe I’ll reward the creators by having a Bud in place of my usual Miller during our next pub outing.

    • I think it safe to say the Budweiser ads with the clydesdales, and often the puppies, are my all-time favorites. Several weeks ago I heard or read that Bud wasn’t going to do the clydesdale ads anymore and was devastated (as the expression goes). I’m so glad that source was wrong.

      I got to see the clydesdales in person once when I was a horse-crazy little girl. Standing next to and petting a horse that big was something I’ve never forgotten.

  5. I currently live with 4 horses, 3 dogs and 1 cat. All family members of a sort. I thought the commercial was funny. The ones that I dislike are the SPCA TV commercials that depict real life cruelty and not the fictional kind like the GD piece.

    • The SPCA commercials would be heartbreaking if they weren’t so “overdone.” Not sure that’s the word I’m looking for. Maybe if they left out the music. But then, I’m not sure there’s any good way to portray suffering, abused animals.

      At my house too, dogs and cats have always been members of the family. Have never been lucky enough to have a horse.

  6. Yeah, this was the classic fake-out, we expect one ending and snap – we’re shocked at the ending we don’t expect. This is a common tactic in advertising and story telling in general. Unfortunately for GoDaddy they told the wrong story.

    For me, personally, I wasn’t upset for the dog because he wasn’t treated inhumanely within the context of the story – but – dog breeders often get bad reps and for good reason – and the commercial merely highlights one of them – cheerful lack of empathy for animals.

    I dated a guy years back whose father was a breeder and the stories he told me about his father’s practices were horrifying and cruel. I decided then that I’d never get a pet through a breeder because these practices are unfortunately too common. And I think GoDaddy’s decision to make the breeder the hero of the story is what pushed it over the edge – because among animal lovers, breeders are often regarded with contempt.

    No dogs aren’t people, but they are living, and usually sweet and loving creatures – so nobody likes to see them treated with contempt, no matter how cheerful it might be.

    With a little tweaking this commercial could’ve worked too. Like you mentioned, having the little girl for whom the puppy was intended waiting for him would’ve worked – or they could’ve built the website to find lost dogs, etc etc. Instead they got for the cheap shock shot. They bad.

    Annie

    • Yep, they bad. I always wonder who approves stuff like this. I think it must be some kind of tunnel vision within the ad agencies. Somebody comes up with an idea, somebody else likes it, and the whole thing snowballs in-house. A herd mentality, self-fulfilling and encouraging with a complete loss of objectivity. Like the group that thought the Hyundai “Pipe Job” commercial was clever.

"There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees." ~ Michel de Montaigne

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