Sunday, February 1, the New England Patriots will face off against the Seattle Seahawks in NFL Super Bowl XLIX. Football fans will tune in to see the action, while non-sports fans will watch largely for the commercials and half-time entertainment. Ordinarily, the Super Bowl does not affect me, but this year Super Bowl XLIX has my dander up.
Each year, the Super Bowl features polarizing commercials. In 2012, for example, Teleflora received criticism for its Super Bowl ad that featured an attractive model dispensing questionable wisdom to men: “Valentine's Day is not complicated,” she advised. “Give and you shall receive.” In 2013, Audi inadvertently promoted sexual harassment/abuse by showing a quiet, male teen transformed into a bad boy by driving his dad's Audi, and then forcing kisses on the prom queen. Coca-Cola's 2014 “America the Beautiful” segment in which a gay couple joined in song with children sparked debate over inclusion and tolerance.
I'm well aware sponsors purposely cross the line to draw attention to their products; after-all, the Super Bowl's bottom line is money. NBC is asking $4.4 million for a thirty second commercial during the big game; in return, sponsors will reel viewers in by capitalizing on touchy social and political situations. It's the game within the game, you might say, but capitalism aside, there's no excuse for promoting cruelty, insensitivity, or abuse of any kind.
This year, Go-Daddy does just that.
On Sunday, Go-Daddy is scheduled to promote its products during Super Bowl XLIX by encouraging animal abuse. Titled “Journey Home”, Go-Daddy's bit features adorable puppies in the back of a truck...puppies that are cruelly dumped on the roadside. Little “Buddy” bravely makes his way home and is enthusiastically greeted by his owner...because she has just sold him on the website she built with Go-Daddy. “Ship em out!” The lady cries, and “Buddy” once again finds himself in the back of a truck.
Is this supposed to be funny? Are we supposed to laugh because “Buddy” has made it home just in time to be shipped out by a small business owner? Are we supposed to condone dumping animals along the railroad tracks? Granted, Go-Daddy builds websites and promotes small business enterprise, but what makes Go-Daddy think buying/selling animals on the internet is good business or, more importantly, responsible animal care? Did Go-Daddy intentionally utilize cruelty to animals to stir the pot and ultimately draw attention to its services? Or are they insensitive to life? Are they stupid?
If you haven't seen Go-Daddy's offensive ad, check it out via this link or google “Go-Daddy, Journey Home”. More importantly, sign the petition to have Go-Daddy's ad removed from Super Bowl XLIX.
To non-animal lovers who may roll their eyes at this column, I say: marketers can poke fun at people all they want; we know their modus operandi. If offended, we can stand up and protest. We have a voice. Animals do not. We are their voice.
To animal lovers, I say: please defend our furry friends against Go-Daddy's callous promotion of animal cruelty. Sign this petition. Have your friends and family sign it, too. As of this writing (January 27th, 1:30 pm), less than two hundred additional signatures are required to reach the goal of having Go-Daddy's ad canceled. Please, be one of them.