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Small Biz Aims Big With Super Bowl Ads

The Go Daddy ads, which feature IndyCar racecar driver Danica Patrick and others, often in revealing clothes, have been a source of controversy, none of which has stopped CEO and founder Bob Parsons from submitting equally racy Super Bowl ads for approval. Some have been flat-out denied.

The company acknowledges that it has "built mainstream awareness in large part with edgy Super Bowl campaigns featuring sexy Go Daddy Girls," according to a Jan. 11 press release. Parsons promises the latest Bowl ad campaign will be equally edgy, with the newest "Go Daddy Girl" being The Biggest Loser's Jillian Michaels.

"I would think the Super Bowl probably put Go Daddy on the map," says Tom Egelhoff, founder of SmallTownMarketing.com. "They were a relatively unknown company a few years ago, but they had some very inventive ads. It was probably a stretch for them to be on there."

Smaller companies that air commercials during the event are "either bringing out new products or trying to build a strong brand, like Go Daddy," Strum says.

Groupon, an online daily coupon service in more than 300 markets and 35 countries, is preparing its first foray into television advertising with a spot during the Super Bowl's pregame show. The site, now in its fourth year, has recently been increasing its exposure.

It reportedly rejected acquisition advances made by Google (Stock Quote: GOOG) announced three weeks ago that it had received venture capital totaling just under $1 billion.

The Super Bowl will likely be a good venue for Groupon, Strum says.

"They're an emerging company," he says. The commercial will "put them in the spotlight of big business and, given the nature of what they are doing, it makes sense for them."

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