GoDaddy and skier Erik Guay get back to nature for new Quebec campaign

Who: GoDaddy Canada, with Headspace Marketing, Wavemaker for media and North Strategic for PR.

What: A Quebec campaign featuring champion skier Erik Guay, who is using the company to build a website for his new business, Parc Primal—a 100-acre recreational park and nature conservancy in the province’s Mont-Tremblant region.

When & Where: The French-language campaign broke on Monday (April 13) and includes TV, online video and display, supplemented by some social. GoDaddy has also filmed a second spot with Guay that will appear later this year.

Why: The campaign continues the website building/marketing company’s efforts to build its business in Quebec, which is home to more than 230,000 small businesses (second only to Ontario). While GoDaddy’s brand awareness in Quebec has doubled in the past two years, it is still about half that of English Canada, says vice-president and country manager Anne De Aragon.

“If you looked at Quebec and said ‘Who is the number one company that you’d go to to build a website or get a domain?’ GoDaddy would be number one, but above that would be ‘I don’t know,'” she says. “There’s still a lot of white space in that [Quebeckers] are not really thinking of anybody, so we want to be top-of-mind when they’re thinking of getting a domain or building a website.”

The company first turned its attention to Quebec about three years ago, with a campaign featuring the Kansas City Chiefs’ Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

How: One of GoDaddy’s primary approaches in English Canada has been to recruit well-known athletes such as Muggsy Bogues and C.J. Miles and then build a business around them (ie: Bogues’ children’s book, and C.J.’s P.J.s).

In Guay’s case, he was already building the Parc Primal business when he was approached by GoDaddy. “Instead of finding the person and then building the business, we found the business and built the campaign,” says De Aragon.

The spot from Headspace Marketing features Guay working on the Parc Primal website in a log cabin, while wildlife including bison, elk and a raccoon gather outside the window. The spot finishes with Guay saying he’s excited for the park to open, but they have to wait until the animals really feel at home before proceeding.

Did COVID have any effect on the marketing? Filming for the spot(s) was completed on March 8-9, just before COVID-19 sent the marketing world home. De Aragon says the GoDaddy team did carefully review the creative in light of consumer sensitivity around the current health crisis, but determined it was okay to proceed.

“Because Erik is literally alone in his home office, we thought it was very relevant to what’s going on right now,” she says. The company might directly address the COVID crisis with a social post featuring Guay directly addressing how it has impacted his business plans. GoDaddy has also created a dedicated hub called Open We Stand that provides resources and links for small business clients attempting to navigate the COVID crisis. 

And we quote: “Erik Guay is an accomplished athlete and a two-time world champion. We are proud to partner with him to help showcase how easy and important it is for small business owners to build a website that can adapt with their business needs.” —Anne De Aragon, VP and Country Manager, GoDaddy Canada.

Chris Powell