Tomorrow is the big day. It’s the day most people have been waiting for. It’s Super Bowl XLV and millions of people around the world tune in just for two different reasons: one for the game and others for the ads. That’s right, the ads. The commercials are very expensive to air during the game and often are talked about for months on end – in fact, you could say that the Super Bowl is like Wrestlemania for TV commercials or like the Grammy’s or the World Cup – it’s the biggest single venue where new commercials are focused on making their debut. Of course it could wind up being a big hit or miss depending on how the commercial is received.
As with the past few Super Bowls, one of the “memorable” ads that aired belonged to hosting provider GoDaddy featuring race car driver Danica Patrick that was a bit risque and forced people to visit their site just to view more information about what GoDaddy had to offer. Appropriate for the audience? Maybe…it really depends on the people watching, especially since the 2011 edition is projected to have 81% males versus 63% females watching, 72% of the audience being between the ages of 35-54 and 77% having income over $50,000. Regardless, it seems that the gimmick is up and one of the largest hosting providers in the nation, if not the world, has decided to really bring us back to our senses.
In a campaign known as “Meet the GoGranny Girl“, Network Solutions has come out swinging after standing idly by over the past few years. But rather than coming back at GoDaddy and making their own risque commercial, they produced what appears to be a more “sensible” video that is shared on YouTube and utilizes more social media to promote it. The video features famed actress Cloris Leachman (famous for being Phyllis Lindstrom from the Mary Tyler Moore show) acting like she was the first lady to promote domain hosting ages before Ms. Patrick walked onto the set.
The GoGranny persona has actually become an interesting hit online. In an earlier post, I wrote about designer Kenneth Cole’s social media faux pas and now we have Network Solutions to review. Fortunately, in this case, it’s not a bad implementation – in fact, Network Solutions is utilizing YouTube to promote their movie, they’ve created the GoGranny Twitter persona (@go_granny) and have been actively engaging with their audience (just look at the #gogranny hashtag). While it may seem to be a bit long for a viral video, the message that the GoGranny is promoting is pretty strong and strikes back against what some perceive to be raunchy GoDaddy commercials.
Just take a look at the way that the GoGranny video is produced…they are very satirical and poke jokes at some of the common topics of the day, including Brett Farve’s sexting escapades. Moreover, they bring back the sensibility of why you should choose their service over GoDaddy’s and Ms. Leachman actually says it best in the video:
Who would you rather have helping you grow your business? Some stuff shirted business person with “expertise” or some smoking hot babe?
And while said a bit like “tongue-in-cheek”, Ms. Leachman does fire a shot across the bow of GoDaddy’s ship. The point is clear: Network Solutions doesn’t have an “expert” in their promotions – they’re tired of utilizing sex marketing as a means of promoting their wares. They’ve decided that they’re going to poke fun at the hilarious marketing that takes place during the Super Bowl and just wants to bring it back to what they do best: host domains and manage your website. And what’s even better is that they throw in a cameo appearance by woman blogging organization BlogHer’s co-founder & CEO, Lisa Stone who lays it out there about why you should work with Network Solutions. In fact, one might summize that the reason is that women are fed up with the sexploitation of women in the GoDaddy commercials and with Network Solutions, they feel that it’s more appropriate to focus more on the principles instead of the sex. Sex does sell, but wouldn’t your message about quality and great service work better?
Overall, Network Solutions engages in what Zoetica co-founder and PR/marketing professional Geoff Livingston (@geoffliving) calls “anti-marketing”. It’s not blatantly in-your-face marketing to try and get you to buy. In fact, it’s considered more a viral video that shows a lighter side of the company, but still keeps their brand at the top of your mind. To quote Mr. Livingston’s post about anti-marketing:
Anti-marketing principles are grounded in reverse psychology. It cuts through the noise by unselling, offering simplicity and clear value. Anti-marketing focuses on attraction, not promotion.
So instead of focusing on selling your wares, wouldn’t it be better to just adhere to the time-honored adage: keep it simple?
Hasn’t Network Solutions done just that?
Photo Credit: Network Solutions
Disclaimer: In the past, I have been a contributing blogger to Network Solutions, but this post is written using my own words and without prompt or request by the company. I was not paid for anything said here.