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SquareSpace vs GoDaddy Ads Super Bowl 2014

The Super Bowl TV ad formula: { overwrought script } + { cheesy music } + { no actual branding until the verrrrry end unless you are Budweiser }. Is anyone else really bored with this kind of "storytelling?" If you are, the 2014 Super Bowl ads were pretty boring (in addition to the game itself). The only exception* was a poignantly true — and terrifying — ad about A Better Web Awaits by SquareSpace. Now the real question I have is: Was this a much needed, very expensive slap in the face to GoDaddy?

Because, let me tell you, they need a slap or two. And maybe a baseball bat to the knee. I hate GoDaddy with a passion. HATE! I could tell you countless horror stories I have encountered over the last 15 years in the domain biz about how GoDaddy has failed on every level that can be possible. What did we get for toppling the Verisign monopoly? God damn GoDaddy. Anyone heard the recent story about the @N twitter account? How I Lost My $50,000 Twitter Username. The short answer to his very dumb questions is: "Because I paid GoDadady for anything, ever." I have had to rescue so many domains and fix so many problems for people that walk in to my office crying about GoDaddy. I have sympahty... people never take their domains as seriously as they should, anyway.

Watch the "Its Go Time" GoDaddy ad here if you dare. By the way, can someone please shoot whoever is responsible for (fail) brands promoting their custom #hashtags? GoDaddy paid around $50,000.00 per tweet that used their hashtag yesterday. Awesome. In their usual tasteless fashion, their business of choice is the tanning salon and their customer is bloated-with-muscle bodybuilders. But the ad does have a valid point (for once): your business will be overrun with customers if you build a website and market it.

In comes SquareSpace. So they published this press release on Jan 22, 2014 where they described GoDaddy Super Bowl ads as "zany." Tongue in cheek? In a moment of very interesting coincidence in the SquareSpace spot, there is a body builder saying "click me" repeatedly (at :30 seconds). The owners of SquareSpace may have decided to take stand and call out what they see is wrong with the web (and thus, differentiating their brand nicely). Known for their reliability and tasteful, responsive templates housed in a secure, centralized system, SquareSpace couldn't be a starker contrast to GoDaddy.

The truth is, companies like GoDaddy are responsible for the sad state of the web. They are equally accountable as Microsoft, who is responsible for the vast internet zombie networks that exist today (* and yes, their spot was redemptively sweet and the only other possible exception). Or PayPal. Don't get me started on PayPal.

But what is worse, they are also responsible for being culturally devoid of any taste, any real humor, any intelligence or enlightenment. They are as mindless and superficial as the left pec of their Super Bowl ad actors. Is the internet one of humanity's greatest achievements or largest disappointments?

Cam and I have fought very hard for our entire careers to build a better web. We are bloodied, bruised, and battered, but we have not been defeated. With the rise of mobile devices — who for some time had unforgivingly strict browsers — times are changing for the better. Thanks to companies like SquareSpace, too. Ever heard of the SquareSpace hack that resulted in millions of websites spamming the world on behalf of Russian mobsters? No, sorry, that was WordPress. Every day, we are trying to tighten the security on our servers and on our third party systems. Every day, we are attacked by countless robots and real human criminals attempting to steal data or phish for money. And every day, we get better at turning them back. For the 100+ domains we have freed from GoDaddy's grasp, this one's for you.

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