Everybody, please take the rest of the day off. It’s the least you deserve for having overcome every single crisis currently plaguing mankind. I’m going to assume that’s what happened. It’s the only explanation I can come up with as to why any human being would think he or she had the free time and spare effort to wage an online campaign against a TV commercial.
Early on Wednesday, GoDaddy announced that it was scrubbing its Super Bowl ad for this year. If you haven’t seen it, the commercial features an adorable golden retriever puppy who gets tossed off the back of a truck then makes a long journey home. So far, so good. But when the dog finally makes it back to its family, being that this is GoDaddy we’re talking about and they’ve never exactly been known for their good taste, the dog’s owner, well, see for yourself.
Now you should know that I kind of laughed at that in spite of myself. I laughed because, A) it’s not as if they really did sell a dog for the ad, B) it’s terrifically ballsy the way they played with your expectations and mercilessly parodied those treacly Budweiser ads designed to cynically tug at your heart strings during a game in which a bunch of millionaires are beating the crap out of each other, and C) anybody who understands the internet knew what was going to happen next out here in the real world. And sure enough, it did. And sure enough, you can be positive GoDaddy executives are doing somersaults in their office that it did, because the company just got more publicity than it ever would have by simply running the ad as scheduled.
What happened once the commercial was made public was that a simultaneous singularity occurred inside the brains of animal rights activists all across the country. They of course took to social media to air what as of right now stands as the Official Grievance of the Day (although it’s early).
Here’s where you should remind yourself again that the GoDaddy commercial is just that: a commercial. No actual puppies were harmed in the making of it, nor was GoDaddy suggesting you ship a puppy using them. It was — sigh — a joke. More than that it was satire — and pretty good satire. But since there’s an ever-growing list of things you can’t joke about or satirize in this country without becoming the target of a Change.org petition that reads in part “I am extremely offended by (fill in the blank)” and which racks up a bunch of signatures from bored shut-ins, the commercial has now been pulled.
The joke, though, again, is on the people who complained about it, given that GoDaddy just got a ton of free publicity as well as exposure for the commercial that will, believe it or not, dwarf a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. Controversy sells. GoDaddy knows this and plays to it probably better than anyone. Usually, it’s rank sexism the company is accused of every Super Bowl, but notably none of the hot-chicks-in-bikinis ads have ever been pulled, despite no small amount of feminist consternation. The dog ad, though — yeah, that can whip people into such a frenzy that the CEO of GoDaddy will make a big show of saying how it “missed the mark.”
God bless America. We need it if we’re this dumb.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.