Super Bowl Commercial Review: GoDaddy's "The Internet Wants You"
It seems this year’s Super Bowl commercials fell into one of two categories: politically driven or just plain dumb. Ads like Budweiser’s “Born the Hard Way” and 84 Lumber’s “Complete the Journey” hit hard on immigration. Audi focused on their commitment to equal pay for women. And Airbnb reflected on their commitment to accepting everybody, no matter your race, nationality or religion.
Several more ads were also heavy on social issues. And then, there were the others. With the exception of one or two standouts, any ad that wasn’t political was just plain awful. Most aren’t even worth calling out, mainly because nothing about them struck me as memorable. However, I can appreciate the effort of one dumb ad.
GoDaddy is known for marketing via scandalous scenes, sexy women, lighthearted absurdity and Danica Patrick. This year, they went another route. Their ad, titled “The Internet Wants You,” personified the internet as a young, tatted adult (probably a millennial) who’s surrounded by a litany of things representing internet culture. The ad includes dozens of references to recent memes, viral videos and viral trends. Many of the references appear in just a flash, too quick to pick up on without rewatching and analyzing the ad. These include tons of little details in the background of the ad that help support the overall concept. I can appreciate this line of detailed thinking, as VI used the same approach in a TV spot we produced for TBS Capital Funding.
While the GoDaddy ad wasn’t by any means groundbreaking, it was fun to look for the different Easter eggs hidden throughout it. To save you some time, here’s a list of Easter eggs I spotted throughout the ad. I probably missed or didn’t understand quite a few, so if you see more, feel free to let us know.
- Water Bottle Flipping - Immediately, we see the water bottle flip when our GoDaddy dude wakes up. Water bottle flipping is a phenomenon where one flips a full or partially full bottle of water up in the air in hopes it will land upright on its bottom. Apparently this is something kids are doing these days. Riveting.
- Tattoos - Throughout the ad, we see that our dude is littered with internet-themed tattoos. Across his chest is an RIP Floppy Disk tat. Under that is a “Plug Life” tat, parodying Tupac’s “Thug Life.” GoDaddy dude also has “@” inked onto his stomach, as well as tattoos of the letters “www,” a wifi symbol, the words “#BICEP,” “</head>” and “</body>” and this shrugging emoticon: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Ermagherd - On our dude’s wall is a poster of the Ermagherd girl, a popular meme back in 2012.
- Emojis - People love emojis. This guy has a family of them in the picture on his wall.
- Ice Bucket Challenge - Instead of showering, the dude, donning some binary-code-branded boxers, dumps a bucket of ice water over his head. I didn’t hear any nominations after he did it though…
- IRL - It’s quick to miss, but the bath towels hanging up next to the shower are embroidered with the letters “IRL,” an acronym for “in real life,” commonly used by people online. It’s a nice nod to fact that our dude is acting as the internet in real life.
- The Dress - We all know about The Dress. It’s that viral photo that convinced us that half of our friends were colorblind. While we had to decide if it was blue and black or white and gold, GoDaddy dude had both options available.
- Roomba Cats - I had to look this one up. Apparently cats riding Roombas around is a thing.
- GHC 17 and OKGO - On our dude’s backpack is a button with the letters “GHC 17.” Again, I had to look this one up. I found that GHC stands for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing — the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. A bit odd, as the backpack belongs to our dude. Beside this button is another one with the words “OK GO,” a band famous for creating viral music videos.
- I Want to Believe Meme - Also on his backpack is a meme of a UFO with the words “I WANT TO BELIEVE,” which is a catchphrase associated with images of paranormal objects (and the X-Files).
- Panda Sneeze - When GoDaddy dude drives off, we see a panda sneezing — a nod to this adorable video.
- IS THIS REAL LIFE? - On his car is a bumper sticker with the words “IS THIS REAL LIFE?” This of course, is a phrase uttered by a drugged-up kid post-surgery in the 2009 viral video “David After Dentist.”
Among these 12 Easter eggs are numerous others that I noticed, like a knitted sign that says “Homepage is where the heart is,” a framed diploma and a pennant paying homage to the fictional “Online University” and a safe marked “spoilers” in the living room. I’m not sure what the deal is with the swan topiary. Maybe GoDaddy’s goal is to make this into a viral trend? For how dumb this was, again, I can appreciate the effort.
Oh, and one last thing.