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The runaway success of GoDaddy Canada’s Ittybittyballers campaign with Toronto Raptors star Jonas Valanciunas left it with a problem: so now what?
The program, described in detail in the January 2017 issue of TSR, saw GoDaddy draw upon its Raptors partnership to secure Valanciunas and position him as the owner of Ittybittyballers, a fictional company that manufactures and sells miniature Valanciunas figurines. The program promoted GoDaddy’s new website-builder utility aimed at small business. It instantly caught the public’s imagination. Though Ittybittyballers is a fictional company, the website and figurine products are real, and the entire inventory GoDaddy produced for the program sold out (with all proceeds to the MLSE Foundation) in just over a week.
So now what?
When TSR spoke with GoDaddy earlier this year, it had no firm answer to that question. The TV spots continued to run, the ittybittyballers.ca website remained live, and it continued to collect entries for a contest aimed at the small business market that was the target of the campaign. What was not yet entirely clear was whether the program had met its business objectives. Capturing the public’s imagination is not the same as driving business results.
But drive them it did.
GoDaddy Marketing Director Anne De Aragon isn’t sharing hard numbers, but pronounces GoDaddy Canada very pleased with the level of social engagement (six million online impressions for the video), the spike in sales and the growth in aided and unaided brand awareness.
“Everything from our point of view indicates that the campaign has been successful,” she says.
The answer to the “so, now what?” question is version 2 of Ittybittyballers.
In the new ittybittyballers program, Valanciunas has enlisted the help of two teammates, Patrick Patterson and Lucas Nogueira, to help grow the business. A new TV commercial is running. Initial plans were to promote the program though online video only, but those plans changed when GoDaddy saw how well the three came across on camera.
The narrative has been altered subtly to put more emphasis on GoDaddy’s website builder utility, less on the novelty of the fictional business. De Aragon says that in the initial campaign, the novelty of the fictional business proposition may have diverted attention from the campaign’s core message to the Canadian small business community: that with GoDaddy, any small business can build an attractive, functional website in less than an hour and for not a lot of money. There’s a big market to be tapped, she says, Only 42% off small businesses in Canada have a website.
The narrative has been altered subtly to put more emphasis on GoDaddy’s website builder utility, less on the novelty of the fictional business.
However, one of the “problems” that bedevilled the first version appears to be striking the second. The fictional ittybittyballers company can’t keep up with demand for figurines despite their hefty price point of $75 apiece. Of the 20 figurines advertised on the fictional company’s website, 12 were sold out when TSR checked on the morning of April 15.
As long as the fictional business remains in operation, this may be a problem that the market will have to accept. GoDaddy’s contract limits the number of figurines it can produce, explains De Aragon. And there’s the practical issue of cost. The pieces are being produced at GoDaddy’s cost, and GoDaddy is donating all sale proceeds to the MLSE Foundation.
De Aragon won’t say yet if there are plans for a version 3 of Ittybittyballers. The Raptors’ regular season has come to a close and the team is now preparing for the playoffs. Like the Raptors, GoDaddy is hoping for a long run, which could mean even more business for Jonas, Lucas, Patrick and Ittybittyballers.
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