Uh-huh. I don't believe it for a second.
For as long as GoDaddy.com has been advertising on the Super Bowl (five or six years, I really don't want to give them), they've followed the same scenario: talk about how you're going to advertise on the game, complain about how the ad you "really" want to run was banned and then encourage people to go view it online. For the first few years, it worked.
But now it's getting old. This year, I didn't even bother to go watch GoDaddy's spot (a bit out of protest, but mostly out of disinterest). And I don't think many others will either. As a tactic, it's getting old. And everyone else is catching on.
On Monday, Kgb.com, a service that answers your most inane or strange questions via text, sent me an e-mail. "Thought you might be interested in one of our ads that was banned," wrote the company. I didn't look at that one either. And anyone with even a passing interest in marketing has been treated to an online version of an ad promoting a same-sex dating site, allegedly bounced for being too controversial. (I'm not going to offer up links to any of these commercials. If you want to see them, go find them; that's what these companies want anyway.)
I don't know that I can truly fault Kgb or Mancrunch for trying this tactic. Neither of them are well-known brands yet, and they're doing all they can to drum up attention when our minds are scattered among so many other things. But I hope they're aware of the strategy's diminishing returns.
Last summer, I was in the market for a Web site. Nothing fancy, just a simple Internet destination with some pictures, text and maybe a dedicated e-mail address. During my shopping for a Web hosting company, GoDaddy didn't make my consideration set. I knew who they were and had a vague idea of what they did. But after years of being "edgy" and "controversial" during the Super Bowl, they still hadn't given me a compelling reason to reward them with my business.
Because for all the noise that a controversial ad created for the Super Bowl can generate, the rules still remain the same: consumers need a reason to want your product. Be better than the competition, be cheaper, be simpler. Be something other than the white noise we're trying to ignore every day (including Super Bowl Sunday).
Controversy isn't a strategy; it's an attention-grabber, and it only works to a point. But once that point has been reached, it's time to abandon that strategy for one that actually makes a case for your product and your brand.
I'm looking at you, GoDaddy.com. But I'm still not looking at your commercial.