Groupon dipped its toes in the Super Bowl ad waters last year, and having found it quite chilly, has decided not to risk repeating past mistakes. That means no more stabs at trying to be funny that come off as completely insensitive and awful.
Crain’s Business says Groupon is staying out of this year’s commercials, as last year there was a big ol’ backlash from the public in response to the daily deal company’s first attempt at a Super Bowl ad campaign. They could be trying to maintain a low-profile after going public in November.
The ad in question featured actor Timothy Hutton in an ill-conceived ad about Tibet and restaurants that came off as insensitive instead of funny. In it, his voiceover presents the seriousness of the country’s endangered culture, before adding in that they make an amazing fish curry that diners could check out using a Groupon voucher. “Yikes,” was a common reaction to the spot.
Groupon is under pressure to show a profit, which means not spending too much on marketing expenses. A $3.5 million Super Bowl ad that may or may not be a hit is no way to ensure staying on budget. Plus, we’re sure Timothy Hutton isn’t returning their calls these days.
In case you’d like to refresh your memory:
Groupon taking a pass on Super Bowl ads this year [Crain's Business]