The commercials that aired during Super Bowl XLVII featured plenty of beautiful blondes and more than one up-close and personal smooch, but none have generated the buzz of Go Daddy's "The Perfect Match," in which supermodel Bar Refaeli locks lips with bespectacled nerd "Walter" for a visually excruciating 12 seconds.
"When sexy meets smart your small business scores," reads the screen as the commercial ends.
Turns out, Go Daddy scored big too.
Go Daddy, the online domain registrar and web hosting company, said the ad prompted its highest sales day ever on the Monday after the game--more than 10,000 new customers, and a 45 percent bump in hosting sales, according to Barb Rechterman, Chief Marketing Officer of Go Daddy.
Rechterman credits the sales bump with the decision this year to incorporate brand education---i.e. the Nerd--into Go Daddy's usual beautiful-girls-and-domain-names advertising schtick.
"The question was also," said Rechterman, "'How could we bring up the level of knowledge with viewers about what it is we do?'"
The result was the 30-second spot that’s more strategy than gimmick, and which has generated plenty of water cooler conversation throughout the week. Though previous Go Daddy advertisements might have had the same shock value, the ads weren't actually getting the company the number of customers they could have.
"The ad did exactly what we anticipated," said Greg DiNoto, Chief Creative Officer of Deutsch NY, the agency that created the ad. "The data told us that the people we were driving to the web weren't as qualified as they could be. In the past, Go Daddy ads got your attention and drove you to the web in droves, but those droves might not have consisted of as many customers."
Go Daddy relies on Super Bowl advertising for an annual bump in traffic and sales. This year, the company hopes that even viewers who gagged when Refaeli’s lips met Walter's have a better idea of what Go Daddy does than they did before Sunday night.
"People will remember that they're not just the sexy girl on the left, they're the smart guy on the right," said DiNoto. "That’s an important moment for the brand."