SUPER BOWL AD WITH VOICEOVER FEATURED NO TRADITIONAL VOICE TALENT AND STOCK FOOTAGE.
This year's Super Bowl had all the hyped highs and lows we wanted. It was chock full of despicable characters...tasteless ploys...incredible feats...oh and there was also a football game too!
Like any Super Bowl, to some, the game takes a backseat to what is the largest commercial cavalcade known to capitalism. And it's spectacular! I love the ads. I mean who doesn't? Even if you're a diehard fan of either team, you're still talking about what ad you loved. There were many great and also controversial ads, but one storyline had me very intrigued. So I'm calling it, "GoDaddy's Super Bowl Ad That Wasn't".
We all know GoDaddy has been burned at the stake a few times for their past Super Bowl ads.
This year GoDaddy again took a page from their "make ads that get people uncomfortable" playbook and created a unique story. Perhaps slightly poking fun at Budweiser's puppy ad with a sinister twist to get people talking. It featured an adorable lost puppy, who ends up back home with his owners only to be instantly sold because his home was a puppy mill.
Ok ok...as a dog lover myself I'm not a fan of puppy mills, and I get why this ruffled some features....or fur. However, if you're that upset that a domain company used irony to sell their product...then your angst is misguided and your energy should be spent adopting or volunteering at a shelter. Nevertheless, the angry mob won and GoDaddy pulled the ad.
So what would you do after spending $4.5 million on ad time with no ad to run?
As any good football team will say on 4th and long, you punt and regroup for the next possession. GoDaddy's agency, Barton F. Graf 9000 scrambled to create something that would fill the slot, not offend anyone, and still make their client happy. So with just 24 hours, they created a simple spot using stock footage and a voice talent that has never been heard....because it wasn't a voice talent.
According to Ad Age, the talent was the agency's art director providing the voiceover on the spot.
As a professional voice talent, I'm not advocating for use of in-house people to voice a spot. In fact, it's a very risky move. However, Barton worked up the right play here for their client, the audience, and the agency.
You have 24 hours, no budget, a large/new client, the largest ad space available and no spot...what do you do???
I've been there. When that ad come on, I knew something wasn't quite right and my Spidey Sense tingled. But for me it was familiar. I was a creative director for over 10 years, and I've been in the hot seat of this kind of scenario. You have worked hard and long on a concept. You're in the trenches. Working nights and weekends. Revisions after revisions of storyboards, and scripts. Finally you're shooting and you're being flexible to the client, the crew, your bosses. In post, revisions after revisions, meetings after meetings until finally you have created the best version of your concept...your baby...and it's ready to rock! All to be shot down because some people have misguided and heavy opinions and/or feel offended. More appropriately...those people just don't get it.
Barton did exactly what they needed to do as a response. This wasn't just an ad to replace a controversial one. It was Barton taking a stand. I'm glad GoDaddy went along with it. That's a great agency/client relationship. BRAVO!
Oh and the voiceover...I hope he was paid at least scale.
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