Today, the world got a sneak peek at GoDaddy's SuperBowl commercial, which appeared on YouTube. GoDaddy, which is best known for its mediocre-at-best web-hosting services, has also made a name for itself for creating viral ads for SuperBowl Sunday. Last year its commercial featured a woman who quit her job on live TV. This year the company has a spoof on the twee Budweiser ads from 2014 that featured a golden retriever puppy who forms a bond with a Clydesdale horse.
The new commercial, which features an adorable puppy who falls off the back of a truck and then treks across lonely country roads and through rainstorms to get home, has a pretty unfunny ending. At least if you care about puppy mills and irresponsible dog breeding. When the puppy makes his triumphant return to the picturesque farm where he belongs, his owner scoops him up and tells him she just sold him on the website she built using GoDaddy's service.
Dog people across the country are irate with the callousness of the commercial and have started a change.org petition
to keep it from airing, and the Humane Society of the United States' Stop Puppy Mills Campaign issued a statement explaining why the ad isn't funny:
"The storyline highlights the heartlessness of many irresponsible individuals who sell puppies and other pets online. But the reality is often even more dismal. Those who sell puppies online frequently pose as small family breeders, when in fact many are operating filthy, overcrowded puppy mills where the breeding dogs live in small cages for years on end, solely to pump out puppies for the pet trade. The HSUS warns consumers never to buy a puppy, or any other live pet, online. Instead, visit an animal shelter or a local rescue group, or if you chose to go to a breeder, make sure to go to a responsible breeder. Always visit the place where the puppy was born and raised. Find more tips on how to go about getting your next puppy at www.humanesociety.org/puppy.”
GoDaddy CEO Blake Iriving tweeted this afternoon
saying that GoDaddy has decided to pull the SuperBowl ad. GoDaddy also posted a message on its website
this evening, confirming that the ad will not appear in this year's SuperBowl.
Our purpose at GoDaddy is to help small businesses around the world build a successful online presence. We hoped our ad would increase awareness of that cause. However, we underestimated the emotional response. And we heard that loud and clear.
The net result? We are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You’ll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh.
Finally, rest assured, Buddy came to us from a reputable and loving breeder in California. He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer and he’s been adopted permanently by one of our longtime employees.
Watch the controversial GoDaddy SuperBowl ad below.
Here's GoDaddy's 2014 ad, featuring the woman who quit her job on TV: