Is it possible that a brand can be so successful that they don’t care about their image?
One has to wonder when you consider the hugely successful internet domain company GoDaddy. Besides their tacky, sexist commercials featuring scantily clad race car drivers and D-list celebs (Yes, yes, we get it. It’s supposed to be tongue in cheek. Sorry–it isn’t. It’s just bad), now you have the GoDaddy CEO showing video of his “problem” elephant hunting expedition.
This has evoked outrage from animal rights activists and people who were offended by the naked brutality of the act. We’re not here to judge hunting–but we have to ask the question–is this really the sort of thing that as a CEO you want to promote with video?
At AlexanderG we generally avoid taking a public stand on politics, religion, causes or anything that may be easily construed in a negative way. Why? Because if you antagonize current or potential customers, you may eventually go out of business. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons just doesn’t seem to think that way. Though he has explained his actions as being humanitarian to the people in the village, it still doesn’t explain his utter disregard for the sensibilities of his customers. Sure, some won’t care–but many will care and this could spell trouble. Seizing an opportunity, a competitor has made it inexpensive to switch from GoDaddy to their service. It remains to be seen if this will put a dent in GoDaddy’s business, but it certainly doesn’t help any.
Check out the video for yourself (warning: it is graphic and some may find it disturbing). Try to divorce yourself from the actions of the video and any emotions the images may elicit. A dispassionate viewing still leaves us thinking that Parsons has a tin ear when it comes to public relations and his brand. Seriously–would you post a video like this and think it was a good PR move for your company?
It begs the question: is it a tin ear or actually a “F-U”?