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Thread: Groupon's Superbowl Tibet ad draws backlash

  1. #1
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Groupon's Superbowl Tibet ad draws backlash

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkFT2yjk0A&feature=youtube_gdata_player[/YOUTUBE]

    That Was Fast - Groupon’s Super Bowl Ad Draws Backlash (VIDEO) - Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJ

    Itís not clear yet whether Groupon sought controversy for its Super Bowl commercial to gain publicity, but either way the venture capital-backed daily deal site sure got it.

    Immediately after one of its three commercials ran during Foxís second-half coverage of Super Bowl XLV, hundreds of people took to Twitter to air their displeasure with the ad.

    The commercial in question involves actor Timothy Hutton, who makes light of Tibetís social ills by touting a discount offer on Groupon:

    ďMountainous Tibet - one of the most beautiful places in the world. This is Timothy Hutton. The people of Tibet are in trouble, their very culture in jeopardy. But they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought on Groupon.com weíre getting $30 worth of Tibetan food for just $15 at Himalayan restaurant in Chicago.Ē

    Here is a sampling of Twitter comments about the ad:

    That @Groupon commercial was terribly offensive. Way to commodify an entire peopleís real struggles & experience.

    That Tibet commercial of yours was the most offensive thing Iíve seen all day! #yousuck

    Groupon, your commercial insulted a lot of people. good job. you suck.

    @groupon You lost another customer from that Super Bowl commercial.

    I guess Groupon decided to do a funny commercial about Tibet because Darfur would be in bad taste? #adFAIL

    While the comments on Twitter are overwhelmingly negative, not everyone was offended by the spot. For instance:

    Come on people. Was the groupon commercial in rather poor taste. Yes. Did they mean it maliciously. Doubt it.

    So far, the Tibet Groupon commercial has been my favorite. #themoreyouknow #SuperBowl
    For its part, Grouponís Twitter account linked to a site where you can not only view the commercials but also donate money to charities related to the spots:

    Support Tibetís largest charity here: Groupon - Save The Money

  2. #2
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Yeah, my reaction to that ad was definitely without the rolling on the floor laughing part. Don't know much about Groupon, now I'm just not interested.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I don't get why everyone defends the ruling absolutist monarchy that had an iron fist in Tibet.

    The chinese aren't great, but it's not like it was some fucking paradise before. It was an autocracy!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    i thought it was kinda funny.

    had it been egypt though. then...that would've been ballsy!

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Wonder who thought a wealthy white American man could get away with satirizing a beleaguered third-world people. Extremely poor taste. FAIL.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    lol definitely politically incorrect. but still kinda funny. and kind of refreshing after the usual public awareness/charity ads by celebs promoting the tibetan cause and acting all spiritual and profound and shit.
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    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    I don't get why everyone defends the ruling absolutist monarchy that had an iron fist in Tibet.

    The chinese aren't great, but it's not like it was some fucking paradise before. It was an autocracy!
    Who defends the monarchy in Tibet? According to your logic, any country that has oppression in its history, must endure oppression in the present. Whatever.

    That being said, the ad is lame.
    Hello mother fucker! when you ask a question read also the answer instead of asking another question on an answer who already contain the answer of your next question!
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    People pretend that Tibet was this shangri la filled with puppies and rainbows before the dastardly Chinese invaded, when it was an oppressive autocracy that pretty much did the same thing the Chinese do now.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Blah, blah, blah snore. WTF does that have to do with this disgusting commercial?
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Figure it out.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    How about not a goddamned thing?
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Wrong. Keep trying.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Great, they're taking the commercials down.

    Groupon axes controversial ad campaign

    By the CNN Wire Staff
    February 11, 2011 8:19 a.m. EST | Filed under: Web


    Actor Timothy Hutton appears in Groupon's Super Bowl ad, which raised the ire of Tibet advocates.

    (CNN) -- Groupon founder Andrew Mason has pulled a series of controversial ads that began running during the Super Bowl, saying "one thing is clear -- our ads offended a lot of people."

    The announcement was on the company's official blog Thursday.

    "We hate that we offended people, and we're very sorry that we did -- it's the last thing we wanted," Mason said. "We've listened to your feedback, and since we don't see the point in continuing to anger people, we're pulling the ads."

    Mason said some of the ads may run again on Friday before the advertising schedule is fully rescinded.

    In three spots that ran before, during and after Sunday's game, commercials that appeared to promote humanitarian and environmental causes -- most notably Chinese government oppression in Tibet -- swerved to become tongue-in-cheek pitches for Groupon deals.

    Critics, many of whom took to Facebook and Twitter to complain, said the ads, directed by actor-director Christopher Guest of "This is Spinal Tap" and "Best In Show" fame, made light of serious situations.

    "We thought we were poking fun at ourselves, but clearly the execution was off and the joke didn't come through," Mason said in the blog Thursday. "I personally take responsibility; although we worked with a professional ad agency, in the end, it was my decision to run the ads."

    In the Tibet ad, actor Timothy Hutton bemoans the human-rights situation in Tibet before quipping from a Tibetan restaurant, "But they still whip up an amazing fish curry!"

    In the two others, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. bemoans the world's dwindling number of whales before talking up a discounted whale-watching cruise and actress Elizabeth Hurley bemoans imperiled Amazon rainforests before promoting a deal on a Brazilian wax (adding that "not all deforestation is bad").

    Any backlash against the ads didn't appear to have any big impact on the popularity of Groupon's iPhone app, which was the 10th-most popular free application Friday morning in Apple's App Store, although it was No. 3 two days earlier.

    Mason notes that Groupon began as The Point, an activism-based site, and that the Web page for the Groupon ads offers a link to donate to each of the causes that the ads spoof.
    "We took this approach knowing that, if anything, they would bring more funding and support to the highlighted causes," he wrote on the blog Tuesday.

    Mason said on Thursday that Groupon expects to "net over $500,000" for the charities.
    Groupon is matching the amount its customers donate to the causes, up to $100,000 each.

    In a blog post, Greenpeace biologist John Hocevar (who also, coincidentally, founded Students for a Free Tibet), praised the ads.

    "Greenpeace is happily participating in the campaign," he wrote. "The truth is that the 'Save the Money' campaign and the commercial are really helping us save the whales."
    Mason said this week that, rather than making fun of charitable causes, the ads were intended to make light of Groupon itself, and advertising in general.

    "Our ads highlight the often trivial nature of stuff on Groupon when juxtaposed against bigger world issues ... ," he wrote.

    Based on comments posted on the blog this week, some Groupon customers were satisfied with the explanation -- but not all.

    "I do actually appreciate knowing the backstory here. I agree that the idea isn't exactly horrible, especially as you've laid it out," one reader wrote. "But the finished, as-aired Tibet commercial was horrible. It did trivialize the cause. That you didn't mean to be offensive doesn't mean you weren't."

    Mason's blog didn't contain a direct apology, but certainly took a stab at an explaination.
    "To those who were offended, I feel terrible that we made you feel bad," Mason said. "While we've always been a little quirky, we certainly aren't trying to be the kind of company that builds its brand on creating controversy -- we think the quality of our product is a much stronger message."
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysfang View Post
    Wonder who thought a wealthy white American man could get away with satirizing a beleaguered third-world people. Extremely poor taste. FAIL.
    Possibly because those attitudes of supreme self-absorption are ironic hipster offensiveness are all over the place. I bet there wouldn't be half as much outrage if it wasn't a 'trendy' cause like Tibet too.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Tibet hasn't been a trendy cause since the 80s.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

    http://www.gossiprocks.com/forum/signaturepics/sigpic4098_9.gif Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

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