GoDaddy Pulls Offensive Puppy-for-Sale Super Bowl Commercial

godaddy puppy commercial super bowl

GoDaddy — you know, the internet service provider whose former CEO bragged about shooting an elephant (a story I broke in 2011) — announced this afternoon that, due to growing social-media outrage, it has pulled an offensive commercial it planned to air during Sunday’s Super Bowl game.

The spot was apparently a bone-headed parody of a tear-jerking Budweiser commercial that is also airing during the game. (Budweiser is on a roll with tear-jerking commercials featuring dogs. Have you seen “Friends Are Waiting“?) The Budweiser spot features a lost puppy.

So did GoDaddy’s commercial, which was deleted from YouTube this afternoon. As it begins, three Golden Retriever puppies are in the back of a pickup truck. One of them jumps from the moving vehicle. As violin music swells, the puppy manages to walk all the way back home, through a rainstorm and across highways and train tracks.

“It’s Buddy! I’m so glad you made it home!” his dog mom says, happily scooping Buddy up into her arms.

“…Because I just sold you on this website I built with GoDaddy.”

What the hell?

According to the New York Times last July, GoDaddy was switching to the ad agency Barton F. Graf 9000, which created the spot, in an effort to change its image.

“The desire to alter brand perceptions was prompted by factors that included changes in ownership and the executive ranks at GoDaddy, a growing backlash to the sexy ads and a realization that more women were becoming part of the company’s target audience of small-business owners,” the Times reported.

Barb Rechterman, chief marketing officer of GoDaddy, told the Times, “We are for the entrepreneur, we are for women, we are for women entrepreneurs.”

Wait, so women and entrepreneurs want to see commercials supporting the online sale of dogs?

What the hell?

Bad, bad move, GoDaddy. Maybe no one shot an elephant this time, but you sure shot yourselves in the foot.

The internet provider Namecheap.com is offering to make a donation to the Humane Society of the United States for every account transferred over from GoDaddy (use the code PUPPYLOVE). Namecheap was also one of the first internet providers to donate account-transfer proceeds to elephant-welfare organizations after the news of the elephant killing broke. This is not a paid endorsement, but i Still Love Dogs is powered by Namecheap, most certainly not GoDaddy.

Photo via YouTube