In two short days, a couple of big time advertisers for the Super Bowl have shown two opposite ends of the spectrum on how to attract some attention to your brand with a little advertising. GoDaddy's attempt at parodying Budweiser's wildly popular ad failed so miserably that it was benched before the big game. Just 24 hours later, the Budweiser Super Bowl Ad hit one out of the park with a similar storyline - lost puppy - that hit all the right notes.
In case you were sleeping yesterday, the GoDaddy Super Bowl lost puppy spot ended with the puppy being boxed up, tossed in the back of a truck and shipped out after being sold online. This sent animal lovers through the roof as the spot blew up on social media before GoDaddy's CEO Blake Irving pulled the ad.
Here's a look at what worked and didn't in the two ads about two puppies that both started out on the "farm."
Getting Lost - The GoDaddy puppy was being shipped out in an open box in the back of a truck before he was fell out. The Budweiser puppy mischievously snuck into the back of a horse trailer before the door was closed and it took off for the city. (OK, did anyone at GoDaddy or their ad firm Barton F. Graf 9000 really think that was a good idea to toss a puppy in the back of a truck.)
The Journey - Both ads were strikingly similar as both dogs hit the road over hill and dale to try to find their way home. (It's as if GoDaddy's folks had a sneak peek and did their own spin.)
The search, or lack thereof - The Budweiser ad showed the puppy's person pass out and hanging flyers as he looked for his dog...and then consoled the puppy's friend the Clydesdale about their lost buddy. The GoDaddy family (breeders, puppy millers whatever) didn't even appear in the ad until the end (yes folks, I know it's an ad and not real...it's why the Bud spot worked and the other didn't).
The end of the journey - Just when the Budweiser puppy spotted home, a wolf appeared and it looked like all was lost...until his Clydesdale buddies came galloping to the rescue.
The welcome home, or lack thereof - As the Clydesdales trotted him home (just like last year's spot), he was lovingly greeted by his owner. When Buddy from GoDaddy returned to the farm, it looks like he was missed, until his owner/breeder gets a sinister glint in her eye and points out that she just sold him online. Then, Buddy is dumped in a box in the back of a van and shipped off.
That, of course, triggered a backlash since most pets trafficked online and sold off with out a potential owner being checked out are dogs from puppy mills at worst and backyard breeders at best. I highly doubt that no one at the agency or GoDaddy connected the dots - could two rooms of people be so stupid (see yesterdays post)?
The ad sent animal advocates over the edge and that sparked a petition, phone calls, tweets, Facebook posts. GoDaddy pulled the ad and their CEO Irving still came off as clueless...the PR was hardly priceless. I wonder how many rescues will know be moving from GoDaddy. (Not doing business with the company is the ultimate way to pay them back for stupidity.)
Which brings us back to Budweiser.
Yes, the Budweiser Clydesdales are the king of Super Bowl Ads. And yes, this ongoing series with the horse trainer, horse and then puppy is in its third year and gets people every time. But, there's nothing wrong with going to the heart for a clever advertising campaign that gives tons of coverage before airing for the first time. #bestbuds
See last year's ad and my thoughts on that campaign here.
See GoDaddy ad here.
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