The group saving site Groupon paid big bucks for a series of adverts that premiered during the Super Bowl. The ads were about “saving the money” and Groupon thought it would be a wise marketing strategy to compare that to saving something else.
For example, there’s a “saving the whales” ad that featured Cuba Gooding Jr. Here it is:
Not surprisingly, some people thought saving the whales was not a matter to be dismissed lightly.
What might be surprising is that the saving the whales Groupon ad isn’t the one that attracted the most complaints from the American audience. You might wonder what would upset people more than poking fun at whales in distress? An advert that featured Timothy Hutton and Tibet managed to upset even more people.
It’s now being reported that Groupon will pull the Tibet ad.
In Groupon’s defense – these ads are supposed to be funny. Groupon also grew out of a program called “the Point” which helps people organise funds for a particular cause. Certainly, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason has suggested to press that they wanted to touch on the company’s origin, with humour, and not upset people with these ads. Mason pointed out they company would never have run them if they thought they were going to be antagonistic.
In Pure Spirit
What do you think? Are any ads which make light of the situation in Tibet or the plight of whales automatically in poor taste? Or did Groupon just misfire with this set?