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screen-shot-2013-02-04-at-4-03-38-pmIt may have been awkward, and it may have been inappropriate, and it was probably sexist, but Go Daddy’s Super Bowl ad featuring supermodel Bar Refaeli and — yeah, let’s be straight-up — a fairly ugly geeky dude totally worked.

GoDaddy posted more new customers and more new sales than any other campaign in the company’s long Super Bowl history, the company said today in a statement. According to Mashable, that translates to the company’s biggest sales day in history, with hosting sales jumping 45 percent, domain sales up 40 percent, and new mobile customers up 35 percent.

“Attracting new customers is what advertising is all about,” GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving said. “We wanted our Super Bowl commercials to generate new customers and overall sales, and that’s precisely what happened. We set all-time Super Bowl Sunday records for mobile sales, website builders, website hosting and new customers.”

GoDaddy’s sexy-meets-smart kiss-mercial prompted the most tweets of any Super Bowl ad, with almost 300,000, but it also had the least positive sentiment. In other words, a lot of people hated it — or at least thought it was inappropriate. After all, if the dude was smart and Refaeli was sexy, does that mean beautiful women can’t also be smart? Broadcaster CBS had rejected two earlier versions of the commercial, according to Irving, but GoDaddy wanted the controversy and craved even the negative attention.

“Inappropriate?” Irving said in a statement, referencing the negative perceptions. “Hearing that word, I absolutely knew we were in for a record Super Bowl ad campaign. And by the way, I think both of our ads were the funniest in the game, by far.”

Whether the ad was inappropriate or not, it clearly worked. Especially for the dude who got kissed.

Apparently Jesse Heiman, a character actor who played the smart side of GoDaddy in the commercial, says, “This might be one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.” Well, duh. Heiman — who said that it took about 45 takes to get the commercial shot — is now landing appearances on the Today Show and other talk shows.

Which I guess shows once again there’s no such thing as negative publicity.

In case you haven’t seen it, but absolutely must, here’s the ad in question:


Image credit: Go Daddy

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