Whether you’re a sports fan or not, by now you’ve probably seen the Superbowl Ad (can be seen by cllicking the link or scroll to the bottom of this for the embedded video) that Groupon put out featuring Timothy Hutton.
The video starts out marvelously, and it seems like maybe someone is actually trying to raise some awareness on a large stage re: Tibet. The ad makes a turn for the worst as quickly as it has you hoping this is the real deal.
Timothy Hutton starts off saying things such as… “The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy.” I was saying wow at this point, what a great commercial, then he hits us with this line… “But they still whip up an amazing fish curry.” He goes on to mention how he and some people got together for Groupon and now get Tibetan food at half the cost, the commercial ends with the the words, “save money.”
At first I was outraged, downright pissed off, I felt the anger deep in my bones. I went on Twitter and talked about my dissatisfaction, there were tons of others who were just as pissed as well. How could they, Groupon, be so ignorant?
I do understand that in a way, Groupon did bring some awareness to Tibet via the commercial, but it could have been done in a more tasteful manner. I also know that with each commercial they do, supposedly, they donate a good chunk of money to the cause that the commercial is based on.
Not only did I jump on Twitter, but I went to Groupon’s website and sent them my thoughts. I received a response back almost immediately, that said…
Thanks for your feedback!
We certainly don’t mean to offend with our advertisements. We think renting celebrities to promote our “Save the Money” campaign is pretty funny, but we understand if it doesn’t tickle you the right way.
In fact, we’re already raising awareness and funds for organizations who are doing work around these causes. Please go to http://savethemoney.org and you will have the opportunity to donate to any of these causes. Groupon will gladly match your donation.
Additionally, we do occasionally feature other real charities on our site, so if you have any suggestions for us, please let us know here: http://groupon.sponsorships.sgizmo.com
Thanks again for your feedback! Let me know if you have any other suggestions or questions.
I replied back, again reiterating my disappointment, but also bring a couple other Tibetan organizations to Groupons attention. I received a reply back saying they apologized for offending anyone with the commercial, it was not their intent.
I can understand what they were trying to do, and honestly think they thought they were doing the right thing. But, I think a little sensitivity training, and a better PR firm, could have made this commercial way better.
How did/does the commercial make you feel?