Super Bowl Ad Watch: Go Daddy Shows Some Leg, Other Brands Tip Their Hands


One of the most predictable things about Super Bowl advertising over the last few years is that runs a sexy spot and then everyone debates whether it was effective, while agreeing that at least it was provocative.

This very predictability explains why Go Daddy tries to get the buzz going early, and has leaked the first of its two Super Bowl XLVI commercial, above. Called “Body Paint,” it features returnees Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels and a “nude” model and promotes its .CO domain, which was announced during last year’s Super Bowl. The second spot, titled “Cloud,” features Danica Patrick and the Pussycat Dolls.

But some other brands, notably autos, are still playing things closer to the vest about their Super Bowl plans.[more]

Audi has revealed that it plans to use a spot in the Big Game to highlight its S7, a sport version of the new A7 sedan it introduced last year. But Chrysler CMO Olivier Francois is being more oblique about exactly what’s up his sleeve, telling Ad Age only to expect more emphasis on actual products during this Super Bowl than last year, when the brand’s two-minute Eminem commercial paid more homage to Detroit than to the new Chrysler 200 that it advertised. “Topping last year [would be] just an ego thing,” Francois said.

Same thing for GM’s U.S. CMO, Chris Perry, who told brandchannel that he and Chevrolet executives were discussing before last weekend how to deploy the various spots they’ve prepared for the Super Bowl and associated programming — and when to show them in advance, if at all. They’ve already released “Chevy Happy Grad,” an amateur commercial that last week won via Chevy’s Super Bowl crowdsourcing contest and is now destined for an appearance during the Super Bowl.

But overall, Chevrolet is still figuring out the issue of how much leg to show — and how much to tip its hand, as the risk of undercutting its commercial impact during the Big Game.

“It’s a little bit of, ‘Which ones are going to go viral?'” Perry said. “And which [spots] are more of a straight message. Which ones do we want to maybe keep for an inside joke until the game, when everyone’s watching? We’ll reveal more [this] week, but there might be one or two we keep in our pocket until game time.”

And, of course, there are still decisions about which spots at which lengths actually make the cut and get on the air. “It depends on the message,” Perry said. “Sometimes the message is short and sweet and to the point, but sometimes we want to draw it out longer. We have 60-second and 30-second” spots in the works.

Will the Chevy Volt make it into one of those spots, as it did last year — and especially now that the U.S. government has cleared the car of any concerns about post-crash fires and GM needs to rebuild the Volt image?

“We produced Super Bowl ads for Volt, but we [haven’t decided] whether they’re going to make it into the actual Super Bowl game,” Perry said. “Pre-game and post-game [shows] also are some of the highest-rated TV shows of the year.”