The GoDaddy/Danica Effect

GoDaddy, the internet hosting site known for it’s racy commercials starring NNS driver Danica Patrick, recently announced that their company was ready to change their image. They want to come across as a more professional business and cut out the sexy advertising.

We all know sex sells in a lot of situations, but men make up a good-sized part of the racing fan base. Yet women, including myself, don’t really care for a bikini-clad Danica going across my screen when there’s action on the track. The driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevy hasn’t done anything on-track that’s really special, but she’s the topic that’s setting the NASCAR world on fire.

If the new direction for GoDaddy’s campaigning makes her seem more like a serious driver, then I’m all for it. What I’m wondering is if the damage is already done.

With all the publicity Patrick is getting, it could sway the thoughts of other female drivers or, even more troublesome, young girls. “If those commercials get her more attention, why not?” In racing, and in society, image has become a factor that determines how people view individuals. Although it isn’t right, those with a more flashy representation get more publicity, compared to those who may be more entitled to the promotion.

Take Johanna Long, for example. The 20-year-old gained respect from competitors such as Elliott Sadler and Brad Keselowski last week at Michigan, where she claimed a 16th place finish. She ran great throughout the whole race. The announcers only talked about her twice. During the same race, Patrick spun two times and was the subject of much talk. I see that as unfair.

Now, on the other hand, we have Kasey Kahne. He’s known as a NASCAR heartthrob because of how he looks, and many females were attracted to the sport for that reason. The driver doesn’t like talking about his ‘fan girls,’ mostly because he doesn’t see himself that way. I remember back when he was sponsored by Allstate, and the company used his Pretty Boy image to their advantage. The commercials featured three woman chasing around Kahne and vying for his attention. You could say that’s similar to what Danica is doing. But there’s a line: when the business opportunity is used, and when it’s abused. Kahne brought women in, yet Patrick is pushing them away to some extent.

If I were Danica, I would be happy with this new direction GoDaddy is going in. It’s definitely a new direction for the company, but maybe it’s the right direction.


6 thoughts on “The GoDaddy/Danica Effect”

  1. Sex appeal certainly does sell and, at times, there is a place for it. But if that’s the only thing selling a product then the product sucks. At some point in time your product or service needs to stand on it’s own merit rather than on a marketing campaign based on sex and sex appeal. GoDaddy has milked that cow for far too long.

    1. I agree. Definitely time to figure out their next move dry now. If Nationwide can provide good commercials for Danica and Junior, so can GoDaddy for Danica and her Indy replacement James Hinchcliffe.

  2. It’s unfortunate that GoDaddy still has to use Danica’s sex appeal to sell it’s product. It was of course a good business decision to get her noticed and to promote her move to NASCAR. At this point the problem is she hasn’t done anything to give GoDaddy something else to promote. It’d be nice to see some commercials featuring Danica in victory lane. She just hasn’t helped her cause and fans are starting to grow tired of the same old marketing campaign. If GoDaddy is serious about promoting a new professional type of advertisement it would be a great move for the company. Not sure how good it’ll be for Danica though….

    1. She’ll be fine. As her sponsor, I think they were making her look foolish for choosing such a risque marketing plan that’s completely misrepresenting their business and treating her like an object than just a talented female athelete who drives fast cars for a living. If they don’t make her look like a fool again, she’ll be respected more on the race track I feel. None of the other sponsors in NASCAR do that to their drivers, so this puts her on a level playing field as a well respected racing driver. Being taken serious everywhere will earn her more respect on and off the race track.

  3. I don’t think Danica is going to get a fair shake with alot of fans or the media..mainly because she’s an attractive female. Before Danica the closet a beautiful female got to the track was in a bathing suit in victory lane or as a so called “pit lizard” standing on the sidelines hoping their favorite driver notices them. Danica is doing fine on the track…geez I certainly remember her Cup boss, Stewart, wrecking more then his fair share of cars his first season in Nationwide cars….and can we say “Ricky Stenthouse”? If she were just a plain, average looking woman…we wouldn’t have this controversy. Danica did what she needed to maintain a sponsor…hey Mark Martin shilled for Viagra…and other then a few giggles…we still took the man seriously. I give her lots of credit…she drove a beautiful race until she got punted on the last lap yesterday. I don’t know what the public expects from her…I myself hope she exceeds in NASCAR …and I really don’t care who her sponsor is or what color bikini she wears.

  4. I think they’re making a great decision. For many years, it was all in humor of the name “Go Daddy” since it has a sexual reference. But, if that’s really not what you’re advertising, just .COM names for under a buck, then sell that. Show the creativity from a web based idea and make it look good. This is definitely a good call. Go Daddy misrepresenting themselves like they had was making people wonder why would a woman who’s trying to make it big in a testosterone generated world want to be represented as a fool. Go Daddy’s loyalty to Danica is very good, but they know they needed to change the marketing plan. As a fan of hers, I’m glad they didn’t drop her like some sponsors do to drivers – case in point, Aaron’s to David Reutimann. So, hope to see what Go Daddy can come with next. If they are clever in their business, they’ll figure something out that isn’t as risque.

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