GoDaddy taps Next Fifteen's Bite, 463 as first PR shops

Internet services company GoDaddy has tapped Next Fifteen firms Bite and 463 Communications to help with its brand positioning and overall communications strategy, starting by leveraging its Super Bowl ads.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ: Internet services company GoDaddy has tapped Next Fifteen firms Bite and 463 Communications to help with its brand positioning and overall communications strategy, starting by leveraging its Super Bowl ads.

When the firms began working with GoDaddy last month, the first issue they focused on was Super Bowl advertising. Last year, GoDaddy's spot during the NFL's championship game featured a long close-up shot of a French kiss between a supermodel and a nerd. In contrast, GoDaddy's 2014 ad during the big game starred a real woman who quit her job to start a puppet business.

The company also ran an ad featuring spokeswoman Danica Patrick and a group of bodybuilders running to a tanning salon.

“The company has a history of doing a lot of its marketing around the Super Bowl, so this was a perfect time for us to get involved because it gave us a chance to see firsthand how the company operates, where it puts its focus and energy, and how we can add value,” said Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen. 

Karen Tillman, GoDaddy's SVP and CCO, was hired in October to build an integrated communications function and develop a corporate narrative. Formerly a VP at Cisco, where she worked with Next Fifteen shops, Tillman said she specifically sought out the two agencies for these tasks.

“The GoDaddy story is not well understood, so we need to make good inroads along the lines of core strategy and telling the story about what we do and who we do it for,” she said. “GoDaddy's previous brand work has been successful in getting the company an amazing amount of awareness, but it wasn't always successful at explaining what we actually do. We want people to think of us as not just a domain registration business, but as a solution provider for the very small business.”

Bite and 463 are the first external agencies GoDaddy has worked with, Tillman added.

Seven agency executives from Bite, and three from 463, will work on the account. The firms did not disclose the size of their budget.

“Bite is an excellent technology company that understands how to position a company, and 463 is a corporate positioning and policy company rooted in technology,” said Tom Galvin, 463's co-founder and principal. “The combination of the two is like mixing chocolate and peanut butter: the sum is greater than the parts.”

GoDaddy is the world's largest Web hosting and domain-registration company, managing more than 55 million domains, and it has expanded its online services for small businesses over the past year. The company made a number of acquisitions last year, including aftermarket domain name seller Afternic, San Francisco-based startup Locu, online invoicing company Ronin, and Web hosting company Media Temple.

Last week, Bite began working with Hitachi as its AOR.

The agency saw a leadership shift last summer, when CEO Andy Cunningham stepped down from her role to focus on her work at consultancy SeriesC. Dyson took over the firm on an interim basis and named Sean Mills, former SVP in Edelman's New York technology practice, to serve as its regional director for North America in September.

Next Fifteen said last month that Bite also returned to profitability during the five-month period ending December 31, 2013.

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