Glendale scene in Super Bowl commercial

by Jane Larson
Arizona Republic
The Valley won’t host the 2010 Super Bowl, but its already getting an economic boost from the commercials Go Daddy Group Inc. will air during the big game.

The Scottsdale-based domain-name registrar shot its commercials featuring auto racer and Go Daddy spokeswoman Danica Patrick over five days the past week at three sites around metro Phoenix.

Sharp-eyed viewers of the Feb. 7 game might recognize the Gatehouse Antiques store in downtown Glendale, the Red Door Spa at the Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa in Litchfield Park and the Scottsdale Studios production studio. “Economically, it makes more sense . . . to do it in our backyard,” Go Daddy Chief Executive Officer Bob Parsons said. “Its more convenient . . . and it also helps the local economy.”

The company spent nearly $1 million in the Valley on sets, hotels, food and talent for the commercials, spokeswoman Elizabeth Driscoll said.The production crew scouted 50 locations before settling on the resort and antiques store, executive producer Jim Stiener said. It chose the Wigwam spa for its pool and light and the Glendale store for its 1950s feel, he said.At Scottsdale Studios, co-owner Sue Wood said the crew started building sets on Friday and spent the next three days shooting. Besides the rental revenue, the studio will benefit from having production, lighting and other local companies learn that its facilities are available in the Valley, she said.

More than 60 people were involved in shooting material for three commercials, including Internet-only versions, Go Daddy said. The company has purchased commercial spots in the first and fourth quarters of the Super Bowl.

This is the second time Go Daddy has shot a commercial in the Valley instead of in Los Angeles or Las Vegas and the first time it has shot a Super Bowl commercial here. A commercial featuring golfer Anna Rawson, shot at Grayhawk Golf Club in north Scottsdale, aired during PGA tournaments this summer.The companys first Super Bowl commercial, in 2005, put it on the marketing map. After network censors saw Go Daddy Girl Candice Michelles tank top strap snap, in a parody of singer Janet Jacksons wardrobe malfunction the year before, they pulled a second showing of the ad.

Ever since the ensuing publicity, Go Daddy has been pushing the envelope with sexually tinged, humorous commercials. Lately it has paired them with Internet-only versions, driving TV viewers to their computers to see racier versions on Go Daddys Web site.

Director Greg Popp said one of those commercials hooked him into going to Go Daddys site even before he was hired to direct the 2010 Super Bowl ads.”Theyre like a great film,” he said of Go Daddy ads. “Theyre funny, exciting, a story, relatable, escapist and make for great entertainment.”

At the Wigwams spa on Friday, director Greg Popp oversaw the lights and cameras crowding around Patrick as she lay face down on a massage table. A fireplace and candles flickered in the background, while potted palms swayed next to the blue swimming pool.

Actress Leann Dearing played a masseuse who, like the patrolwoman who stopped Patrick in this springs “Speeding” commercial, wants to be a Go Daddy Girl, too. Dearing danced as Patrick murmured that the activity wasnt advertised as part of her massage.

Between takes, Patrick said shooting commercials is hardly like racing.”Other than being on a schedule, its nothing like it,” she said. “The scenery is always changing, hair and makeup are foreign at the track, and there is more pampering.”

Though they declined to discuss details of the scripts, both Patrick and Parsons said they expect the latest commercials to pass muster with censors.”I believe this year those Go Daddy aficionados that are looking for the commercials we typically produce wont be disappointed,” Parsons said. “I dont think well have a problem getting them approved. Were older and wiser. At the very least, were older.”