The GoDaddy.com Super Bowl XLII commercial is either a success or a failure - depending on how you look at it.
Failure: watching it directly on your television screen during the second quarter of the most widely viewed Super Bowl ever.
Success: watching the "real" commercial at GoDaddy.com on your computer between Super Bowl XLII plays.
Bob Parsons, owner and founder of the Scottsdale-based domain registration company that paid Fox Television $2.7 million for 30 seconds of screen time, said his commercial featuring race car driver Danica Patrick was a winner compared with the 56 others that ran during the Super Bowl.
"I think it's fair to say this year's Super Bowl was fantastic for GoDaddy," said Parsons. "In fact, we knocked it out of the park!"
Parson's commercial urged viewers to visit GoDaddy's Web site to see the ad Fox had earlier rejected, primarily because it contained the word "beaver."
He said about 1.5 million hits were received on his Web site after the commercial ran during the second quarter. The number of visitors reached more than 2 million Monday and was still climbing, Parsons said.
"Traffic on our Web site is up by a factor of 3.5 times compared to normal," Parsons said.
GoDaddy benefited from the record number of people viewing the game: A total of 97.5 million people watched Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research - 2.42 million more than watched the Super Bowl in 1996, when Dallas defeated Pittsburgh.
More people watched Sunday's game than all but one American television broadcast ever, the "M*A*S*H" finale in 1983, which was seen by 106 million viewers.
However, a survey by several local advertising agencies ranked the GoDaddy commercial near the bottom of the TV-presented sales pitches, based on reaction by viewers.
Dave Maddox, senior analyst for WestGroup Research of Scottsdale, said GoDaddy's commercial ranked fifth from the bottom of the 56 ads that ran during Super Bowl XLII.
"The top-ranked commercial we recorded was the Anheuser-Busch ad," said Maddox, who gathered reactions from more than 140 viewers. Viewers were asked to rank each commercial on a lowest-to-highest, 1-to-10 basis.
The Anheuser-Busch ad showed a Bud Light Clydesdale horse that doesn't make the first cut for the carriage team, but succeeds after a year of training with a Dalmatian. It received the highest rating, with an 8.26.
GoDaddy's ad got a 3.95 rating.
"I'm sure GoDaddy is happy with the results of their Web site visits," said Maddox. "They wanted their TV commercial to create a buzz, and it did."