Groupon Gong Show

Groupon Gong Show

I have a great sense of humour.  I also fully support hair removal including Brazilian waxing. I am aware of the disastrous deforestation happening in the rainforests of Brazil.  And I’m really good at connecting the dots, so what in the hell do all off the above have to do with each other?

Well, according to the daily-deal pimps at Groupon and their spokesperson Elizabeth Hurley, “Not all deforestation is bad when you can save 50% on a Brazilian wax.”

What?

Check out this enlightening commercial that debuted at Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Really??

But wait it gets better/worse… next up was Timothy Hutton taking on oppression and meal-planning in Tibet.

Groupon took one final stab at desecrating their brand with a 3rd commercial debut… the oh-so-cute Cuba Gooding Jr. walking the beach and chatting about “Save the dying whales!  Meantime it’s sure fun to watch them jump when you save money on a whale watching cruise.”  Save it Cuba…we’re all bored and desensitized now.  (You can find that one on YouTube too.)

We all love a great spoof but how did Groupon think trivializing world issues via this ridiculously un-PC campaign would go over well?

Wait!  Here comes their attempt at warm, fuzzy and philanthropic – this year Groupon is donating up to $100,000 to each of the following:  Rainforest Action Network, The Tibet Fund, and Greenpeace.

Fantastic!  But hmmm… are they trail-blazing humanitarians or convenient “contributors” when at $3M per 30-second Super Bowl commercial, Groupon spent $9M to reach 150 million viewers.

The optics of this crass commercialization is mind-boggling.   As even Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason realized this week when he attempted damage control from the palpable backlash across all media channels, especially social media.

So much for the “controversial marketing theory” hey Andy?  Good luck with that.  Not to mention your global expansion plans.

HERE’S THE STICKING POINT:

I’m not an environmentalist or a political activist.  That’s somebody else’s blog and I hope they have a field day.

What I represent to Groupon is actually far more damaging.  I’m a potential customer… with a sense of right, wrong, offside and down-right offensive.  And I’m just one of millions and millions.

This is a brand blunder of epic proportions Groupon.  Brace yourselves because the repercussions are gaining momentum.  And it’s going to hurt.

Kind of like hair removal, only really slow.

2016-10-15T15:28:13+00:00 By |Gong Show, Products|2 Comments

About the Author:

With a take-no-prisoners approach to helping build brand experiences around big ideas, Susie Dore'–Brand Strategist, Copywriter and Founder of Lipstick Sky Marketing–works with inspired clients in a wide range of industries across North America.

2 Comments

  1. Margarita February 21, 2011 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Well spoken Susie and I am with you 100%. Groupon distanced themselves greatly from potential customers like you and I with this campaign….and that is an oops that will take a lot longer than a 30-second Super Bowl ad to make up for.

    • Susie Dore' February 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Thanks Margarita! Exactly. Damage control continues including pulling the Tibet ad. Wild thing is, Groupon as an organization has not officially apologized. They and their handlers keep spinning how “clever” they were to create such a wave of social media. The whole thing will go down in marketing record books as “How Groupon Annihilated PC Then Made it Worse”.

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