Danica Patrick and Go Daddy to split? Not so fast

Christian Petersen

The Internet seems to be getting all worked up about a press release issued by Go Daddy early Thursday morning which cast doubt on Danica Patrick's future commercial appearances with the company.

Or at least that's what people are taking from the press release. Personally, I call B.S.

First, here's the entire press release so you can see for yourself:

GO DADDY SIGNS DEUTSCH NY TO PRODUCE 2013 SUPER BOWL ADS
Go Daddy Marketing Team Redefining 'Sexy'

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 18, 2012) -- For the first time since its controversial 2005 debut, Go Daddy is producing its new Super Bowl commercials with the help of an ad agency. Go Daddy officially signed the New York Office of Deutsch Inc. as its agency-of-record this week. Now, Deutsch NY is working to produce two thirty-second spots for the world's largest Web hosting provider's 2013 Super Bowl campaign.

The challenge is to create memorable, innovative ads that reflect the world-class Go Daddy customer experience and have the level of impact Go Daddy's past Super Bowl commercials have enjoyed.

Go Daddy's Super Bowl strategies have helped drive market share, over the last eight years, from 16 percent to more than 50 percent. Over the years, Go Daddy Super Bowl ads have set records for Internet traffic, as well as internal records for sales revenue and new customers.

"We are doing something we've never done in a Super Bowl -- we are repositioning sexy," said Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman. "The new sexy means success, ambition and drive and it can be achieved by using Go Daddy to grow your business. We think it's sexy to grow a business, to be your own boss and to make dreams come true online."

Go Daddy drives one of the largest technical infrastructure operations on the Internet and powers 10.6 million customers worldwide, mostly small-to-midsize businesses who need simple solutions to grow their businesses and want technical help to build and manage their websites. Unlike most Internet companies, Go Daddy provides customers with a 'bend-over-backwards,' business consultant approach to customer support that includes personalized service, every hour of every day.

"What makes Go Daddy special is our 'over-the-top' brand of concierge service ... no one else does what we do, the way we do it," said Go Daddy Executive Chairman and Founder Bob Parsons. "I think the creative challenge for Deutsch is going to be to draw from our past success and create something new, that's memorable and has a little fun with what makes Go Daddy so extraordinary ... in a way that is impactful."

Deutsch NY has multiple teams working on creative concepts right now. The scripts are being kept top-secret.

Go Daddy Girl and NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick has been featured in 10 Super Bowl ads, which is more than any other celebrity in Super Bowl history. All have been Go Daddy ads and each has driven viewers to the GoDaddy.com website to "see what happens next" after the broadcast ad ends.

"Do I hope I'll be in the new Go Daddy Super Bowl commercials? Absolutely," Danica said. "I don't think it would feel quite like a Super Bowl if we don't do the commercials again this year," she suggested.

"We have had measurable success with Danica, no doubt about it," Parsons said. "When you think about our new definition of 'sexy' as: success, ambition and a drive to succeed with an online presence ... Danica certainly fits that bill."

That leaves Deutsch with a challenge to innovate what has become a Super Bowl phenomenon: the Go Daddy commercial.

"Go Daddy is an iconic Super Bowl advertiser, with tremendous name recognition," said Deutsch New York CEO Val DiFebo. "Our mission is to go deeper into what Go Daddy does. Their relationship with customers is truly inspiring. We've listened to hundreds of them, who use words and phrases like 'profound appreciation' and 'I owe my success to Go Daddy,' to describe their connection. It is the new sexy. This is an amazing opportunity to create commercials that are as memorable, innovative and impactful as Go Daddy's ever done, and to do it in a way that does as right by their brand, as they do by their customers."

OK, so in reading the press release, Go Daddy wants leave it murky as to whether Danica will be in the company's Super Bowl commercials.

Of course she will be. Why would Go Daddy mention her in the release and quote her if it wasn't planning to continue using her in its campaigns?

It seems clear that Deutsch has been asked to come up with more conservative commercials that still feature Danica in them. The "new sexy" discussed by Go Daddy will likely include Danica – just with all of her clothes on and not playing the role of seductress.

The press release is a tease – just like the "See what happens next" ads – and Go Daddy will surely reveal in a couple months that Danica is in a Super Bowl ad after all.

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