GoDaddy's rebranding targets small business owners, more than half of whom are women, so the company needed marketing that was more female-friendly. The new campaign "gives us opportunity to expand our media buying into more female demographics," she said. GoDaddy plans to target programs like Ellen, The Today Show and others whose viewership skews female.
(Read more: TV-online ad parity 3-5 years: Moonves)
"It goes beyond just messaging," Rechterman said. "We felt we wanted to go down this path because we wanted to make it abundantly clear that our mission is to ... be one with the small-business owner."
Long-time GoDaddy spokeswoman and race car driver Danica Patrick is still around, Rechterman said, but titillating ads will be replaced by ones with a more inspirational tone. And GoDaddy isn't giving up its trademark edginess entirely. Van Damme is billed as "the 'ass-kicker' inside every small business owner," according to the company.
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—By Martha C. White, NBC