Groupon’s superbowl controversy: who gives a twit?

8 Feb

Blogs have been alight with the anger towards Groupon’s Super Bowl ads, ads that poked fun at serious global issues such as deforestation and poverty stricken countries. If you have no idea what I’m chatting about check out some of the tongue-in-cheek videos below!

What struck a chord with me is the amount of outrage on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Blogs. Groupon, the daily-deal kings, brought on advertising firm CP+B to come up with the campaign which was aired during the Super Bowl and can be viewed via Despite the entertaining and evidently, very effective commercials, many groups have criticized the taste even going after the celebrities themselves.

Personally, this is brilliant! As an ex-publicist turn social media planner I think Groupon and CP+B got this spot on. Yeah some might be outraged, but from those few rants comes tons of exposure to Groupon’s ads and their service. Besides, highlighting important issues by either poking fun or an emphatic TED speech is a good thing. At least they are igniting conversation and bring attention to these great causes. Anything is better than nothing right?

Also, I think a lot of people complain on social media platforms merely for attention. I’m sure lots of Twitter users join in the crowdsourced moaning just to be part of the crowd, to be seen and to ultimately improve their Klout rating. I think social media rants aren’t an effective measurement of public anger. I would like to see the ratio between official letters of complaints vs. social media outcry.

However, that message was lost, said Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing strategy firm.

“Most people will learn about it after they saw the ads and think it’s a reaction to negative PR,” she said. But she added a bigger problem with the campaign is that it didn’t really make clear what, which offers hundreds of daily discounts in 500 local markets, is all about.

“They went for the joke and they forgot the strategy, and that is probably a common rookie mistake in the Super Bowl,” she said.



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