Update: In response to major backlash from viewers — as well as a Change.org petition criticizing the ad for "encouraging private breeding/puppy mills while shelter animals wait patiently for their forever homes or worse" — GoDaddy has officially pulled the ad, and will not air it during the Super Bowl. Tweeting the decision, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving wrote, "Thank you @animalrescuers for the candid feedback. What should have been a fun and funny ad clearly missed the mark and we will not air it."
Original Post: GoDaddy is no stranger to creating polarizing Super Bowl commercials. Last year, GoDaddy's Super Bowl ad was different in that it wasn't offensive to any specific gender or stereotype, and over all, it was refreshing to see that their once sexist ads had evolved to become pro-woman business owner. This year, GoDaddy seems to have stuck with the theme of supporting female business owners, but it has created a bit of a stir in the process. The new GoDaddy ad, entitled "Journey Home" features a perfect little puppy, named Buddy, who gets separated from his pack and has to make his way through the elements to return home.
During his "journey," Buddy crosses train tracks, takes cover during a storm, and runs along a highway just to find his way back to his owner, presumably named Gabby. The entire thing will pull at any dog-lover's heartstrings and, if your anything like me, make you want to adopt Buddy in a heart beat.
The problem that some have found with the video, though, is at the end of the ad, once Buddy returns home. When he is greeted by a woman, who says, "Look, it's Buddy! I'm so glad you made it home," we learn that she has sold Buddy on a website that she built with GoDaddy, of course. It takes a quick turn, suddenly Buddy is in a van for "Gabby's Goldens" and is off to where ever he was sold to.
The video on YouTube has almost only negative comments attached to the ad. People have called the commercial "horrendous," "unconscionable," and "despicable," almost entirely because of their emotions towards the representation of the breeder in the commercial. Some are saying the breeder's actions are irresponsible, some are saying that others are being overly sensitive.
So while GoDaddy's support of female business owners is great, its overshadowed by the dog breeder's actions in the commercial. Maybe next year, GoDaddy could produce a commercial that doesn't anger anyone, but then again, that would probably defeat their desire to get people talking about their ads.
Images: YouTube; Giphy