Web hosting company GoDaddy, which Kantar Media claims spends around $24.7 million on measured media in the U.S., has launched a review in search of a global brand agency partner. It is unclear if incumbent Barton F. Graf 9000 will participate in the review and Phil Bienert, GoDaddy’s chief marketing officer, told AdAge, “We are still finalizing the list.”
The review comes roughly four months after GoDaddy decided to pull a controversial Super Bowl spot following online backlash. While some questioned whether the stunt was planned, the company insisted the response was completely unexpected. GoDaddy, of course, built its brand on outlandish Super Bowl ads, which were universally loathed enough to merit a “Dear GoDaddy, Please Stop” op-ed from Woods Witt Dealy & Sons partner/creative director Harry Woods in 2013. Last month, GoDaddy chose not to renew its sponsorship of Danica Patrick, who starred in many of the company’s Super Bowl spots, another sign that the GoDaddy is changing its marketing approach. Barton F. Graf 9000’s most recent ads for the brand featured Jon Lovitz taking a CGI beating.
“We felt the time was right for us to be looking for a global agency partner to take our brand global,” Bienert told AdAge. “The criteria are that agencies have global scale, that they have a presence doing brand advertising in multiple markets — not just in North America but in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe – and that they understand our brand and our mission.” He added, “We’re ready to push beyond simple brand campaigns that revolve around a 30-second TV commercial and leverage our distinctive small-business data platform as a key ingredient in our brand marketing.”