Super Bowl ads are supposed to be edgy, but it seems GoDaddy.com went too far with its puppy parody.
The ad titled Journey Home and featuring a puppy named Buddy that falls off the back of a truck, but manages to find its way home only to be sold online, was released on Tuesday. But outrage from animal lovers, including an online petition that quickly amassed thousands of signatures from those crying fowl about abuse and concerns about puppy mills, prompted the company to rethink its message.
The ad was quickly pulled from the internet, but can be watched below thanks to TMZ.
“At the end of the day, our purpose at GoDaddy is to help small businesses around the world build a successful online presence. We hoped our ad would increase awareness of that cause,” Blake Irving, GoDaddy’s chief executive officer, wrote in response to the outrage. “However, we underestimated the emotional response. And we heard that loud and clear.”
For good measure, Irving added this note about the dog, Buddy:
“Finally, rest assured, Buddy came to us from a reputable and loving breeder in California. He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer and he lives permanently with one of our longtime employees.”
The 30 second slot, which costs about $4-million, is still earmarked for GoDaddy during Sunday’s matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, but it’s not clear what exactly the company will air.
“You’ll still see us in the Big Game this year,” Irving wrote, “and we hope it makes you laugh.”
Incidentally, this year’s Budweiser Super Bowl ad, which plays on the same theme – Lost Dog – but with a much happier ending. The beer company certainly knows how to tug at the heartstrings with the careful use of critters.