Groupon Super Bowl Ad Backfires

[tweetmeme source=”equalman” only_single=false http://socialnomics.net%5D By Erik Qualman

Interesting that a social media company [Groupon] didn’t understand the social media backlash it could receive by running a culturally insensitive advertisement during the Super Bowl.

What social media allows for is  “word of mouth on digital steroids.”  If a company does something bad, things can snowball in a hurry.  Below are just a few of the reactions to the Groupon Super Bowl Ad on Twitter.  @JeremyRSchultz posted “Did Groupon achieve the dubious distinction for spending ad dollars to actually lose customers?”

Groupon Super Bowl Ad

@rohitbhargaya posted “Groupon seems to have achieved the unique feat of paying $3M to lose customers who previously loved them.”

If you didn’t see the advertisement (above) it essentially conveys the following: Ad begins in a serious tone describing the hardships facing the people of Tibet, but then it quickly turns light with a guy in a restaurant stating it’s okay because he got a great Groupon for Himalaya Restaurant in Chicago so it’s good, cheap food for us living in the Western World.   Growing up in the Midwest (Detroit) and living in Chicago this is even more offensive to me as I know how kind  the people are in the Midwest are.

I believe @Reputationista may have put it best with: “Well. Off to buy a new #Chryser, drinka #Coke, switch to #Verizon, unsubsrive to #Groupon and fire #GoDaddy.”  To see the top ads from the Super Bowl click here.

Since Google was rumored to have offered $6 billion to purchase Groupon an appropriate question would be “What Would Google Do?” This is the name of Jeff Jarvis’ book and my answer would be a good start would be to donate some money toward the cause in Tibet.

As a fan of Groupon I hope they realize their mistake and take the necessary actions to correct it. What do you think?

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7 responses to “Groupon Super Bowl Ad Backfires

  1. Didn’t ANYONE who saw this ad before it received the “go ahead” object to it? They may have had a good laugh in the boardroom, but at the very least, the attempt at humor comes off as being very callous.

  2. This is wrong on SOOOoo many levels. Hard to know where to start.

    How about: Timothy Hutton – are you THAT unemployable these days…that you gotta worry about getting half off your meal at an LA restaurant and star in a commercial like THIS!? Really?!?

    Dumb.

    – Don

  3. This incident reinforces the need to make sure research is thorough before embarking with such messages. And is this age of social media, the research element is more critical than ever.

  4. What Would Google Do?
    Prevent those in China from viewing the ad… oh, they already do that!
    Thanks Google!

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