By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

What happens when millions of people view a hot girl in a television commercial during the Super Bowl? Many go online and start searching in hopes of finding out more information about her. But what if they don’t know her name? Research shows us people will connect generic terms with whatever brand the advertisement was associated with.

Candace Michelle in blackFour years ago, a girl named Candace Michelle, appeared in a Super Bowl commercial spot that ran for the registrar Company GoDaddy. The commercial was controversial and resulted in Fox networks pulling the registrars 2nd scheduled advertisement of the game. But that didn’t stop people from searching. At the time Candace wasn’t known as the WWE Diva that she is today, so people didn’t know to search for her by name. The resulting search phrase that was borne out of that Super Bowl commercial spot was Godaddy Girl.

I’ve been friends with Candace’s chiropractor husband for several years. The three of us were sitting in an Islands restaurant in Tempe Arizona, talking about marketing, about a month and a half before the first Super Bowl commercial aired. Today, many people know her by name, but she still hasn’t maximized her opportunities online.

Candace filmed a number of commercials for this year’s Super Bowl XLII, but in the final days, GoDaddy decided to run an advertisement featuring Danica Patrick (several ads were reportedly rejected by the network). View the Candice Michelle ad below.

Anticipating that Candace’s ad would run during Sunday’s big game, I contacted some experts in the field of Search Engine Marketing, to ask what suggestions they had for someone in a position like Candace Michelle. As it turns out, their advice would just as easily apply to Danica Patrick, as it would Candace. There are some gems of ideas in the suggestions given by these experts, and there’s a formula many potential celebrities can follow.

Todd Mintz, of srclarke.com writes…

First, I would put Dr. Mike in charge of the website. There are so many things wrong with the website from an SEO perspective that it’s too difficult to list them all. The good news is that the website probably has tons of solid inbound links… so once she can get unique constantly updated content on the site, she’ll start getting web traffic for lots of different searches besides her own name.

Also, she should do what you, I & most search marketers do… blog, write articles & Twitter. She can build brand through continual online communication, making sure to respond to those who are interested in asking her a question and acknowledging those who say flattering things. If she is comfortable engaging with people online, she’d pick up a ton of Twitter followers really fast.

I’m sure there will be guys who will “forget their manners” while trying to get her attention online… if she’s smart, she should save the funniest comments for an article that would surely make the home page of Digg which will help build her brand even more.

Adam Audette of AudetteMedia writes…

If she were my client I’d do something like the following:

  • Since the Godaddy ads are great exposure but people don’t necessarily know Candace, I would SEO her site for terms related to “godaddy superbowl spot model”, “godaddy girl”, “godaddy commercial” etc. Hard to compete w/ Godaddy for brand related terms, so I’d focus on long-tail and getting in the blended results with optimized videos and images.
  • I’d start a video about Candace and her Godaddy commercials and spread it virally on YouTube. The video could be short, just a (sexy) interview and some background info about her. Brand the start/end with her domain.
  • I’d target Digg with a video series on a geek-related topic. Does Candace like video games? OS X? Old SNES games? Find an angle, there’s been a geek girl of the week on Digg quite a bit. The only thing us geeks like better than technology is beautiful women!
  • I’d target Stumble by putting a specific set of pages up w/ anectodal stories about Candace’s experience (either authored by her or in an interview format, or w/ a ghost writer if must be). There must be some funny things she’s seen/experienced on these videos – get them up and hopefully w/ some teasing / sexy images and/or video.
  • The above content ideas will spread well on other social sites too.
  • PR campaign driving the 4th year in a row for Super Bowl commercials story angle – that could be pretty noteworthy (would need to be researched).
  • I’d get Candace set up w/ a twitter profile and have her start messaging during the day – doesn’t need to be time consuming, but a few tweets during the day would do viral wonders. Her followers would grow quickly.
  • Get her blogging.
  • Finally, I’d put on her home page a custom landing page during and after the Super Bowl traffic spike. It would be a call-to-action to enter a contest, where a lucky person would win a dinner with Candace or a day with her – whatever. Capture an email address and use this to build out the newsletter that you’re sending regularly to the fan base. Ideally this contest would have a hook into the theme of Godaddy’s super bowl ad.

Brian Chappell, a Search and Social Marketer writes…

I notice first off that she is using a heavy flash site that is some what difficult to navigate around. This seems to be her only search engine presence as well which I would work on.

With that said, the super bowl is coming up, so she doesn’t have much time to capitalize off of the surge of traffic she will more then likely get for “godaddy girl” “Candice Michelle” etc.. I would probably axe the flash site for the next week or two and put up a simple two page site, one with a homepage and another with a contact form. The page you want to funnel people into would be a page declaring the top 10 social profiles she has set up, thus allowing her fans to follow her. I would also partake in a small PPC campaign to help drive that traffic to that page with her profile pages. This will allow her to build up a fan base that she can then push products, pictures, and videos on to. That is the short term solution.

If I were her and had more time I would set up mini sites that focued on the different types of content she partakes in, whether that be commercials, online videos, pictures, magazine spreads etc. So something like CandaceMichelleVideos.com, CandaceMichellePictures.com etc. etc. that way when people are looking for her in the engines they will find her. She needs to control the domains in her top 10 that way she can push what she wants onto them vs. no control and letting others capitalize off of her. Creating a community around her, and establishing a fan base can be very beneficial for someone in her position.

Matt McGee, of Small Business SEM writes…

Given the chance to say hello to Candice, I’m not sure online marketing advice would be the first thing I’d think of to talk about, but if the conversation ever reached that point, here are a few things I’d suggest:

1. Fix the web site. The Flash is nice and it’s an appropriate mood for a model/actress, but it’s almost unforgivable that your home page doesn’t show up for the phrase “godaddy girl” or “wwe candice michelle” and other phrases like that.

2. Start a blog. Tell your stories — at least what you can tell — about being involved in WWE, the GoDaddy commercials, and everything else that goes on in the life of a model/actress. The idea is to break down the wall a bit between you and your fans. Let them get to know you more. (Make sure to accompany this with necessary offline precautions.)

3. Get your photos on Flickr. Start a group for your fans to post any photos they take of you at WWE events and elsewhere.

4. Do some videos for YouTube, maybe even a regular series. Maybe do some Q&A with fans. Bring some of your fellow model/actress friends on with you to keep things fresh.

All of the above is about exposure and branding. There’s a real opportunity to be known for more than the GoDaddy spots and WWE.

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I’d like to thank the search specialists that offered their suggestions. I made the requests on Friday afternoon and received them before the weekend was out. Visit the Candice Michelle website (NSFW in some cases) to see what was being talked about. Thanks to Candice for being such a great sport and putting up with my emails and interviews.