Groupon CEO Baffled By Super Bowl Ad Response

first_imgAgain, context that perhaps might have changed the original reaction to the pricey spot Christopher Guest-directed spot.It’s also worth noting that the spot (as well a its sister spots, “A Fragile Balance,” “A Resource in Jeopardy,” and “Lend a Hand,” starring Cube Gooding Jr., Elizabeth Hurley, and Sheryl Crow, respectively) was the brainchild of the ad firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the company behind Burger King’s much criticized “Whopper Virgins” ad campaign, which brought the fastfoodstuff to remote areas of the world. [I]f you’ve saved enough money for yourself and feel like saving something else, you can donate to mission-driven organizations that are doing great work for the causes featured in our PSA parodies. If you guys pony up, Groupon will contribute matching donations of up to $100,000 for three featured charities – Rainforest Action Network, buildOn, and the Tibet Fund — and Groupon credit of up to $100,000 for contributions made to Greenpeace. Believe it or not, one aspect of last night’s Super Bowl broadcast actually managed to garner worse reviews that the Steelers’ first-half performance and that trainwreck of a half-time show. Groupon got slammed with nearly universal outrage online, after the airing of its Tibet ad during last night game. The ad, which abruptly shifts from a seeming impassioned plea for Tibet to a light-hearted spot for online savings, was largely regarded as insensitive exploitation of the plight of a nation. The spot almost immediately drew comparison’s to Kenneth Cole’s recent attempt at humor in the wake of massive Egyptian protests.The site’s CEO, Andrew Mason, doesn’t really get what all of the fuss is about. Mason told The Wall Street Journal that the spot was just “a spoof” and that he really didn’t regard it as offensive. Groupon for its part, was working on raising funds for Tibet prior to the airing of the ad–a bit of information that would have no doubt lend some context to the ads that were quickly dismissed as insensitive. Here’s a bit from something Mason posted to the Groupon blog prior to the airing of the ad,Since we grew out of a collective action and philanthropy site (ThePoint.com) and ended up selling coupons, we loved the idea of poking fun at ourselves by talking about discounts as a noble cause. Groupon planned to use the spots to raise more donations for worthy causes, including Tibet. Again, from Mason,last_img read more