GoDaddy said its Super Bowl commercial, which aired yesterday, resulted in its “best ever” Sunday for new customers.
The company said in a press release it had seen its “its best-ever Sunday for attracting new customers in the books”.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it sold more domains than its previous Super Bowl efforts, nor that it made more money.
It seems the web site builder service GoCentral, which is currently offered with a free trial period, accounted for “about half” of these new customers.
GoCentral was the subject of the ad, in which the abstract concept of “The Internet” is embodied as an irritating hipster. It can be viewed here:
Actor turned fashion designer John Malkovich is to feature in a Super Bowl commercial themed on cybersquatting.
The ad, for web host Squarespace, sees Malkovich complaining about the domain johnmalkovich.com belonging to some other guy by the same name.
In a roundabout way, this is also a commercial for Tucows, the newly-crowned second-largest domain registrar, which Squarespace acts as a reseller for.
Here’s the ad:
In reality, Malkovich owns the the .com of his full name. He sells clothes there.
However, he’s reportedly currently suing the owner of malkovich.com in France.
Clarification: a reader has asked me to clarify that using a domain in good faith isn’t strictly “cybersquatting”. Every DI reader already knows this, but apparently unless you spell it out every single time you risk incurring the anger of cretins.
Go Daddy reckons its two commercials broadcast in the US during the Super Bowl last night were the most successful in the company’s history, according to two key metrics.
The company said in a press release:
Last night’s ads delivered more new customers and more overall sales, as compared to any other Super Bowl campaign in the company’s history.
Go Daddy has been advertising during the game for nine years. This year was the third in which is has partnered with .CO Internet, the .co registry, on one of the ads.
One of the ads was shameless, vintage, attention-grabbing Go Daddy — primarily comprising a lingering shot of a passionate kiss between an attractive female model and a male geek archetype.
The other, which advertised .co, largely eschewed mammary glands in favor of the “Underpants Gnomes” theory of domain name advertising, in which registering a domain somehow leads to fabulous wealth.
ICM Registry used a similar tactic in its launch advertising late 2011.
The Super Bowl is the season finale of a little-played fringe sport known as “American Football”.
Viewers of the annual US broadcast traditionally pay special attention to the regular commercial interludes because the brief, fleeting moments of actual sport are so soul-sappingly tedious.
Go Daddy plans to advertise .co domain names during the Super Bowl broadcast for the second year in a row.
The company has bought two 30-second slots during the show, one of which will plug .co and will feature celebrity spokesmodels Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels.
Scripts for both ads have been approved by NBC censors already, Go Daddy said.
It will be the eighth consecutive year the company has advertised during the inexplicably popular sporting event, which had a record-breaking 111 million US viewers this February.
The 2011 ad revealed Joan Rivers, her head spliced onto the body of a much younger glamor model, as the .co Go Daddy Girl.
I estimated at the time that .CO Internet took roughly 30,000 to 50,000 extra registrations due to the Super Bowl commercial.
Judging from its CEO’s latest blog post, .CO Internet doesn’t want to talk about how many new .co domain names were registered following its Super Bowl commercial with Go Daddy.
I take this as a sign that the event did not have an earth-shattering impact on its registration numbers.
Making some basic assumptions, reading between the lines, and using some back-of-the-envelope math, I estimate that the number of new .co domains registered was likely less than 50,000.
That’s not terrible, but I think it could take quite some time for the company to see a return on its investment, given that its margins on the promotional pricing would have been pretty thin and that at least a quarter of those registrations will likely disappear a year from now.
I doubt it made enough cash on the day to pay for Joan Rivers’ boob job.
But in Juan Calle’s post, he makes it clear that .CO is playing the long game. He wrote:
The most common success metric that many registries use is the total number of domain names registered. Although we are certainly enjoying our incredible growth – the number of .CO domains registered is simply not a metric we believe is robust enough to measure the kind of impact we fully plan and expect to have in the world over the long term.
You can be fairly sure that if .CO had doubled the size of its customer base last week, or broke through the million-domain milestone, Calle would not be talking in these terms.
He’s not keen on using secondary market prices to define success either, saying he expects it will be four or five years before the .co aftermarket matures.
Sedo’s .co auction, which ended yesterday, saw the majority of domains fail to meet their lofty reserves. But that’s not necessarily a slight on .co – auction activity in general has been sluggish recently.
Calle has some fetal ideas about how to measure the success of a TLD. He wrote:
To gauge the impact of the .CO extension, I think we will need to consider a combination of factors. Imagine, if you will, a sort of “Gross Domain Product” or “GDP,” measuring not only the total number of .CO registrations, but the number of websites developed, and the broader value of the economic activity happening within the .CO space.
It’s an interesting idea, but there’s a reason why most people judge TLDs based on their number of registrations. It goes something like: registrations = revenue = profit.
Selling domains is generally a registry’s only revenue stream. A registry with few registrations won’t turn a profit, and stands less of a chance of staying in business.
And for the aftermarket, a TLD retaining a large number of registered and renewing domains over the long term means there’s demand, which leads to higher prices.
Fortunately for .co, it is off to a great start, with probably something approaching 700,000 domains under its belt in just seven months, if my envelope-back is reliable.
Calle’s post gives every indication that the company plans to keep up its aggressive marketing spend, so the TLD stands, I think, a pretty good chance of breaking through the one million domains mark this year.