Domain registrar Go Daddy has decided to purchase a second ad during next Sunday’s Super Bowl, for an overall $4.8 million investment in 60 seconds worth of air time. But the advertisement Go Daddy submitted for its second 30-second slot was rejected by the Fox Network, according to a weblog post by CEO Bob Parsons.
Go Daddy will instead use the newly-purchased ad slot - to appear in the final minutes of the game - to repeat a first-half ad, which has already been approved by Fox. Go Daddy will make the rejected ad available on its web site Monday, apparently hoping to get additional publicity from Internet buzz, and leaving skeptics to wonder whether the “rejection” was a strategic ploy to gain extra mileage from the Super Bowl investment.
A number of large corporations have used the web to air ads considered too risque for television. Fox is treading carefully with Super Bowl ads and entertainment after last year's halftime fiasco in which Janet Jackson bared her breast and later blamed a "wardrobe malfunction." The incident led the Federal Communications Commission to impose a $550,000 fine on CBS, which aired last year's game. This year's halftime performer is Paul McCartney, who Fox apparently considers unlikely to get naked.
Go Daddy's decision to spend heavily on Super Bowl ads is part of a larger effort to raise its brand awareness beyond the web hosting community. The decision has been questioned by some, given the historic connection between Super Bowl ads and dot-com excess.
Parsons has written extensively about Go Daddy's Super Bowl strategy on his recently launched weblog, joining a group of CEO bloggers such as Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Microsystems, Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks and Jupiter Media's Alan Meckler, among others.