Photo: AP/Lionel Cironneau
Sexy Super Bowl ads may emit a tad less sizzle this go-round — but two will feature knock-out supermodels.Go Daddy, historically the Super Bowl’s raciest advertiser, on Friday will name supermodel Bar Refaeli as its newest Super Bowl-bound Go Daddy girl.
She was ranked No. 1 on Maxim’s Hot 100 for 2012. The move comes just weeks after Mercedes-Benz announced that supermodel Kate Upton will star in its game spot.
Both models are former Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girls.
But neither of the hotter-than-hot models will appear in racy attire. In fact, both will appear in formal dresses — as plans are right now.
Even as Super Bowl marketers are reaching out to the world’s most beautiful models, some appear to be evolving away from ultra-racy imagery.
“It’s about intrigue and desire,” says Noreen Jenny Laffey, president of Celebrity Endorsement Network, which links celebrities with marketers. “It’s not what you see; it’s what you don’t see — but you know is there.”
For Go Daddy, it’s also an attempt to soften its image. “The new sexy at Go Daddy is all about the customer,” says Barb Rechterman, chief marketing officer.
This will be Refaeli’s first Super Bowl spot. The Israeli native, who has dated actor Leonardo DiCaprio on and off, will star with veteran race car driver Danica Patrick in the 30-second ad.
Refaeli, 27, who was the cover model for the 2009 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, says she has no hesitation about linking up with an advertiser whose brand image has been built and tarnished by its often-racy Super Bowl commercials.
“I am a model who is well known for her body and feminine image,” she says. “I’m not here to make people think I’m the next Einstein.”
The ad, to be filmed next week in Los Angeles, also features Patrick, who will star in her record 11th and 12th Super Bowl spots for Go Daddy. Go Daddy won’t reveal detailed contents of the spot, called “The Perfect Match.” But the two will likely discuss why helping customers is the new meaning of sexy at Go Daddy.
While Refaeli’s outfit in the commercial is still undecided, it will be a cocktail dress or something very formal, says Rechterman. “We’re not thinking bikinis or anything like that,” she says. “You might say we’ve come up in the world.”
Mercedes-Benz is featuring Upton, 20, in its commercial to appeal to a younger customer with its new, lower-price Mercedes-Benz CLA, says Stephen Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.
But in keeping with Mercedes’ brand image, Upton, who was the cover model on the 2012 SI swimsuit issue, will be wearing a cocktail dress, says Cannon. “We don’t have her on the hood of a car in a bikini.”
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