Charlotte Hannah
June 15, 2012

GoDaddy Pulls Sexy Danica Patrick Ads; It’s About Time (VIDEO)

If you don’t work in the tech industry, the name ‘GoDaddy’ probably makes you think of a barely-clothed Danica Patrick, rather than a crappy web hosting service. Which is exactly what the company wanted – until now, anyway.

It seems that GoDaddy is ready to turn over a new leaf by launching an ad campaign that will move away from naked models and inexplicable stripteases. The new ads are described as being ‘more conservative’, and will focus on the services GoDaddy offers for small businesses, as opposed to their… ability to…services for…understanding of…uh…boobs. Yeah.

Not only are the ads mind-blowingly sexist, they also seem to be pandering to the wrong demographic. See, for example, these YouTube comments on the aforementioned ‘inexplicable striptease’ video.

Mark23478 definitely looks like a man who requires cheap and efficient web hosting services, no? Perhaps he’s considering buying PriviteParts.xxx? Although somehow I doubt he’s able to disable the parental controls on his browser in order to view a .xxx site.

In the following video, Patrick Jones wonders how GoDaddy will attract customers without the power of breasts.

In the video, Jones suggests that the sexy ads are necessary to make customers pay attention to a service that is essentially ‘boring’.

“I couldn’t name another company that does that off the top of my head,” he says. Well, Patrick, perhaps that is because it’s not your job to know. Buying a domain name isn’t exactly a thing that the ‘Average Joe’ usually decides to do on a whim.

Sexism in advertising is not limited to GoDaddy, however. ASUS recently came under fire for this tweet:

This is only one instance in a long tradition of women being objectified and female customers subsequently being alienated by the tech industry. Last I checked, women make up about half of the world’s population. PR like this serves to alienate a large portion of a company’s potential customers, which means the company is missing out on potential sales.

Marketing campaigns that use women as props to entice men to purchase laptops, domain names, and the like, are not simply misogynistic: they’re also an insult to the intelligence of the men they’re targeted toward. At least with companies like Axe, the sexual imagery in their awful commercials is somewhat relevant to the brand (the key message of this video being ‘if you use Axe products, you will be better equipped to pretend to care about a woman’s interests so you can dupe attractive stereotypes into having sex with you’).

This is not so with companies like GoDaddy. The GoDaddy advertisements, like this one in particular, give the distinct impression that men won’t make a purchase by researching and weighing pros and cons. No, they’re incapable of making a decision unless there are soapy breasts present to tell them what to do.

So there you have it. Sexism in the tech industry hurts women, for reasons that are so obvious I don’t even need to state them. It hurts companies by alienating potential customers and potential employees,  by presenting the notion that technology is a “man’s game”. And it hurts men by insulting their intelligence.

Here’s hoping that GoDaddy’s new ads take a more professional approach, and that the backlash that ASUS saw for its offensive tweet forces it (and other tech companies) to think twice before it publishes material that essentially tells women to “go away (unless you’re here to look pretty)”.