Are you ready to bring more awareness to your brand? Consider becoming a sponsor for The AI Impact Tour. Learn more about the opportunities here.

revenge of the nerds

Hey, smart person! Just so you know, GoDaddy thinks of you as a social miscreant with horrible fashion sense and a body of unsurpassed physical awkwardness.

We’ve known for eons that GoDaddy thinks of women as wordless manequins with logo-boobs. That the company treats its spokesmodels like RealDolls is a fact as generally acknowledged as it is odious. Lest you think this is one of our trademark feminist rants, don’t worry. We wouldn’t waste our word count and your time on a topic so tired.

What bothers us more about GoDaddy’s Super Bowl spot is its denigration of smart people.

Check it out:


First point of irony: The “smart side” that GoDaddy seems to be implicating as generally undesirable? Those are most likely to be some of their biggest customers. You know, the people who build and maintain websites.

Second point of irony: The “sexy side” of GoDaddy that model Bar Refaeli represents? We’re having trouble figuring out what the “sexy side” of web hosting actually is. It’s not sexy; it’s utilitarian. It has nothing to do with looks or models or kissing or sex or boobs or weird cultural associations between our bodies and our brains. It’s just. Freaking. Web hosting. No one ever wanted web hosting to be sexy, GoDaddy.

This high school dichotomy GoDaddy perpetuates — the one wherein all conventionally hot people are vain sex idiots and all smart people are ugly (or all ugly people are smart) — demeans us all, the homely, the brilliant, the beautiful, the not-so-smart, and the alliances we all make during our lives and careers with others of varying hotness and intelligence.

But do let’s remember, GoDaddy is only perpetuating, not creating, this paradigm. Take a look at the whole “fake nerd girl” rants, memes, and assorted Tumblr-based backlashes: We expect our pretty girls to be dumb and our smart men to be ugly (and angry).

Honestly, it’s a paradigm I’ve come to love to hate. Every time I scrape myself out of my pajamas and put on a pair of fake eyelashes, my perceived IQ goes down at least 40 points. And as a devoted troll, I have had a lot of fun with that.

But for every time I’ve used the stereotype to my advantage, there are dozens more where it’s been used against me with much greater damage. (Again, see “fake nerd girl” Internet poop-storm.)

The best thing to do, then, is to carefully examine our own minds for traces of these prejudices. Is your smart friend dating a hot person? Are you assuming the hot person is less smart? Did you assume that nerdy-looking guy was smart or socially awkward just because he had a neckbeard and hipster-thick glasses? Be vigilant, my friends. Nerds of all genders, races, orientations, ages, and body types need to band together to ward off unfounded societal assumptions about ourselves and one another.

In conclusion, sod off, GoDaddy. You’ve long been a joke among advertisers and technologists alike. Your tactics suck, your stereotypes are completely unfair and unrealistic, and no one is laughing.

Have a GoDaddy account? If you’ve had more than enough logo-boobs-and-SOPA-supporting bullcrap for one lifetime, may we suggest getting away from the creepers who run that joint?

Here’s a detailed post on migrating off GoDaddy with little or no site downtime. There’s also a good LifeHacker post on taking your business elsewhere, and here’s a good Forbes article with five reasons to ditch GoDaddy and how to go about doing it.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.