GoDaddy finds Super Bowl ads are worth the money

In this photo taken Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, Girl Jillian Michaels, Fitness trainer &
In this photo taken Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, Girl Jillian Michaels, Fitness trainer & "Biggest Loser" celebrity, is seen during the filming production of the 2010 Super Bowl television commercial for "" at the Delfino Studios in Sylmar, Calif. While the Super Bowl is the biggest gambling event of the year, for many advertisers, buying time in the game is a wager that almost always pays off.(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES —, which has had operations in Cedar Rapids for years, was almost unheard of nationally six years ago. Then it ran the most talked-about ad of Super Bowl XXXIX — a spoof of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in which a busty woman appears before a censorship board and a strap breaks on her skimpy top.

The spot was so racy that Fox yanked a second airing scheduled for later in the game. The other fallout? The Super Bowl ad rolled out each year by GoDaddy, which registers Internet domain names, is now almost as eagerly awaited as the halftime show.

Fox is charging about $3 million for 30 seconds of ad time this Sunday during Super Bowl XLV. So is the gamble worth it for companies?

“It’s not a bet,” GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons said, “if you know the outcome.”

After Super Bowl XXXIX, GoDaddy added race car driver Danica Patrick as a “GoDaddy girl,” and last year signed “The Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels.

Since the Jackson spoof in 2005, GoDaddy has gone from single digits to nearly 50 percent of market share in domain-name registry.On average, the site said, it has picked up 5 percentage points of market share within the first 48 hours after a Super Bowl ad. It posted almost $1 billion in revenue last year.

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