GoDaddy’s Super Bowl Puppy Ad: A Miss, Fumble, and Failed Recovery

I’ve seen some superbowl ads in years past that are very degrading to dogs. But’s planned 2015 Super Bowl wins the prize for the worst advertisement I’ve ever witnessed.

“Journey Home” previewed on NBC’s Today Show. While it was intended to take on the success of Budweiser’s commercial last Super Bowl, about a puppy finding its way home, it clearly missed the mark in dozens of ways. The puppy, Buddy, who falls off of a pick-up truck after riding loose, battles bad weather and traffic to find his way home. But, it turns out that the woman he runs back to at ‘home,’ is only happy to see him because she just sold him on a website that she just built with GoDaddy.

What’s wrong with this picture?

  • The puppy is riding loose in a truck (illegal in many states, and unsafe in all)
  • The owner isn’t happy because Buddy is back home safe, she’s happy because she sold him
  • She appears to be an inhumane breeder disguised as a reputable breeder
  • Buddy gets sent off in a commercial van

Steve Dale tells us in Chicago Now, “Commercial vans do not pick up puppies sold via legitimate breeders. Is this a puppy mill? This is an obvious endorsement of selling puppies randomly online, which at this moment is an all too common practice of puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders. Unless prospective buyers have met the puppy and seen the facility, this is never the way to buy a puppy.”

SPCA Twitter GoDaddy

The only good news about this commercial is that it was pulled from the Super Bowl, after a tirade of outraged tweets with the hashtag #GoDaddyPuppy. A note from GoDaddy Chief Executive Blake Irving on the GoDaddy website about the matter reads:

“This morning we previewed GoDaddy’s Super Bowl spot on a popular talk show, and shortly after a controversy started to swirl about Buddy, our puppy, being sold online. The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad.

We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress over the past two years, advancing the GoDaddy brand as a company that cares a great deal about small business and is in their corner to help them succeed. People increasingly know who we are, what we do and who we do it for.  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. However, we underestimated the emotional response. And we heard that loud and clear.

The net result? We are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You’ll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh.

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.”

I’m glad to hear the real Buddy is fine, but it’s unfortunate that GoDaddy still hasn’t offered an apology. Or, as Steve Dale notes, a donation to a non-profit with a mission to eradicate puppy mills, such as The Puppy Mill project. That would have been a better way to recover from their disastrous fumble.

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H M.
H M3 years ago

Apparently, they aren't running any ads for Super Bowl 50 (a. k. a. Super Bowl L) this year. I wonder if they're advertising for Daytona.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Julianna D.
Juliana D4 years ago

Its a commercial that GIVES PEOPLE THE IDEA that its OK to be an illegal/crappy breeder! WE don't live in a Disney movie- this and all the Christmas puppy crap! ALL came from commercials!

Angela B.
Angela B4 years ago's a commercial people!! I don't think it merits getting bent out of shape over it. Pretty cold as far as creative vision goes......I have to agree!

Barb Hansen
Ba H4 years ago

you're putting too much merit into the superbowl commercials in general. any company that can spend 4.5 million for a 30 sec spot hocking their crap, obviously doesn't need and won't get support from me.

Past Member 4 years ago


Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

Any time I hear the words godaddy and commercial together I cover my eyes and plug my ears because I know it is going to be trash. As far as I am concerned they have ruined any chance that Danica had of becoming a respected driver because they turned her into a TNA show. (Not that I like her that much any way). That is all their commercials have been every year "log on to see more". OMG. Is someone really going to use their site because of TNA commercials? I would hope not. So to hear that they took a puppy as a puppymill prospect does not surprise me in the least. And as other have said already these slimies are wildlife killers. Anyone who does business with them will not have my business. Boy, guess I was more miffed than I thought. Sorry.

Past Member 4 years ago


Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M4 years ago

The mindset that created this should not be supported in any way.

M.N. J.
M.N. J4 years ago

Meet GoDaddy's Ridiculous Elephant-Killing CEO

He killed a leopard two years before. Was it "destroying village crops"?

"Go Daddy is now infamous for incredibly sexist Super Bowl ads .... it wouldn’t be a Go Daddy ad without at least some misogyny. The message of the commercial: women are sexy, boys are smart. The two shall never mix."

Oh, yeah, GoDaddy supported SOPA