SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Don’t expect to see Danica Patrick take her clothes off, kiss a girl or do anything else risque during the next Super Bowl.
GoDaddy will again feature its famed spokeswoman in its infamous Super Bowl ads, but the website domain provider said Thursday it is canning the risque innuendo. GoDaddy’s advertising campaign has leaned toward sexually suggestive themes since its early days when WWE diva Candice Michelle was the company spokeswoman.
But since Blake Irving took over as CEO in January, he’s tried to shift GoDaddy’s advertising focus toward its actual company message.
“2014 marks a new era for GoDaddy Super Bowl commercials,” Irving said in a statement Thursday.
GoDaddy has purchased two 30-second spots, one for each half of the Feb. 2 game, and the company said Thursday “at least one of the two spots will feature” Patrick. The NASCAR driver has appeared in 12 Super Bowl commercials — more than any other celebrity.
“I love what’s going on at GoDaddy,” said Patrick, spokesperson for the company for nearly seven years. “Since our last Super Bowl, I’ve been to the new Silicon Valley office and talked with customers who are genuinely grateful for how GoDaddy helps them grow their businesses online. GoDaddy is for the go getter, the ‘little guy’ looking to compete with the ‘big guys’ and I love that.”
GoDaddy teased last year that it might be dropping Patrick from its campaign, only to use her in both Super Bowl spots. Her most prolific appearance came in a commercial starring supermodel Bar Refaeli, who made out on screen with a nerd. The ad ranked last in USA Today’s annual Super Bowl ad meter.
Patrick made a cameo as a pilot in the second spot, which didn’t score much higher in USA Today’s poll.
Patrick’s first Super Bowl spot was in 2007, but GoDaddy first began using the Super Bowl to advertise in 2005 when it spoofed Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in its commercial. Although consumers often had no idea what GoDaddy was or offered, and the ads generally tanked in polls, they always had television viewers talking during the biggest advertising night of the year.
GoDaddy chief marketing officer Barb Rechterman said the 2005 Super Bowl debut got the company a lot of attention, but GoDaddy has changed as it hits its 10-year advertising anniversary with the game.
“We’ve matured. We’ve evolved,” Rechterman said. “Our new brand of Super Bowl commercials will make it crystal clear what we do and who we stand for. We may be changing our approach, but as we’ve always said, we don’t care what the critics think. We are all about our customers.”
The Super Bowl spots will be produced by Deutsch New York, the same agency that helped GoDaddy relaunch its brand last September with the “It’s Go Time” campaign featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme.