When GoDaddy set its sights on Quebec to promote its website builder, it was already making waves in English Canada with a distinctive advertising campaign. This campaign, which featured Jonas Valanciunas of the Toronto Raptors, showcased his off-court hobby of crafting miniature figurines, sold online via a GoDaddy-built website. This approach not only skyrocketed the demand for these "itty bitty ballers" but also significantly boosted GoDaddy's brand awareness.
In Quebec, however, GoDaddy faced unique challenges. Market research revealed certain barriers to the brand's adoption, notably its unusual name which resonated differently in the Francophone market. Still, the research also highlighted that leveraging a local celebrity's hobby-turned-online-business to demonstrate the utility of GoDaddy’s services could make a significant impact.
After evaluating several potential endorsers, we chose Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, famed for his dual achievements in football with the Kansas City Chiefs and his academic pursuits in medicine. Laurent’s passion for woodworking was a perfect match. He crafted stunning wooden bowls, which we used as the centerpiece for a new business venture, "Le Tourneur des bois," showcased through a GoDaddy-powered website.
This campaign resonated deeply with the Quebec audience. The buzz even reached Radio-Canada’s top-rated talk show, "Tout le monde en parle," where Laurent’s bowls became a focal point of discussion. This not only marked a surge in GoDaddy subscriptions in Quebec but also affirmed the importance of cultural resonance in marketing.
Following Laurent, other notable athletes like Eric Guay, a World Cup champion skier, joined similar campaigns, each adding their unique flair to GoDaddy’s growing presence in Quebec.
Meanwhile, Laurent's career soared, he went from turning wooden bowls for GoDaddy to winning the Super Bowl. Those who bought his bowls now own a piece of sports history.
Successful brand-building in Quebec requires knowing when to adopt, adapt or create for the market. In GoDaddy’s case, adopting the hugely successful campaign developed for English Canada, which was also adopted by GoDaddy in Australia, proved to be the right call. And choosing Laurent Duvernay-Tardif at the right moment in his exceptional career paid off.