Don’t leave your ideas on the subway!

GoDaddy has launched its latest effort at enabling the passions of would-be small business owners, showing how easy it can be to give an idea its own professional-looking website. Playing on the tendency people have to come up with ideas while lost in thought during their commute, OOH ads in Toronto subway cars have a range of copy for new products, businesses, services and apps. The placement of 48 different pieces of creative is meant to make it look like a thought bubble appears over the head of someone who sits under them.

All of the “thought bubble” ads appear alongside large banners that read “Don’t leave your ideas on the subway” and encourage people to “#GetItOnline” in under an hour using GoDaddy’s website builder tool.

“Most people on the TTC are using it to commute, and if you look at them, some of them don’t look super motivated to be going to their day job,” says Jill Schoolenberg, VP and country manager for Canada at GoDaddy. “We thought we would try and inspire some of those people that are riding it ten times a week to actually start to think about what options they had in front of them and get their idea online. We wanted to engage people during a time of the day when they’re not engaged in where they’re going.”


As part of an ongoing social play, GoDaddy has also been searching Twitter to find instances of people sharing their own big ideas – such as makeup removing pillow cases and a roomba for dog poop – and creating websites for businesses built around those ideas in under an hour. All the sites were then sent back to the person who came up with the idea, and are being collected on

Schoolenberg says the social execution is a way to not only reach people outside of Toronto, but also drive further engagement with the campaign by involving people in the conversation and the kinds of ideas that are being brought to life. Juniper Park\TBWA is leading creative on the campaign, with Wavemaker on media and North Strategic on PR. Focusing on helping small business owners bring their ideas to life through its suite of website-building products has been a global brand priority for GoDaddy.

While local executions have utilized the ideas of Toronto Raptors Jonas Valančiūnas and Norm Powell to illustrate the ease with which customers can give their passions a platform, Schoolenberg says the new “#GetItOnline” work is meant to be more of a direct way to inspire the actual people who might end up taking action. “A Raptor is very aspirational, but anyone can have a good idea and put it online,” she says. “This is more direct to customer communication. It’s not a deliberate change in our approach, but we did want to reach a different audience and motivate them in an environment when they’re captive.”

By Josh Kolm