Christopher Daley

Christopher Daley
Somewhere Inside My Brain, California, USA
October 16
I am a school teacher who still wants to be a published writer when I grow up. I think that all children are not the same and any system that treats them that way is broken. Most people think I am not completely right in the head but they have no idea how bad it truly is in there.


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FEBRUARY 8, 2011 10:42PM

What the Hell Groupon

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One of my favorite shows on TV is Mad Men. There is something about telling history through the eyes of an ad man which appeals to me. It is always interesting to talk to my students about why they get to watch network TV for free. Very few of them understand it is because people are trying to sell them and their parents products.

Sometimes I watch TV and tell myself I went into the wrong business. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I could write better advertisement campaigns then the ones that end up on TV. Most of the time commercials are just ridiculous. At their best they entertain you and make you feel all warm and fuzzy towards the products they are selling you. At their worst they piss you off and make you think you will never buy a product from that company again.

Of course this last weekend we had the Super Bowl. It's not just the most watched sporting event in the United States but it is also championship season for advertisers. TV spots during the Super Bowl cost the gross national product of a small company. You have to make them count and you have to make them memorable. My wife watches the Super Bowl for the commercials not the game (and I know she is not the only one).

This last year had one of my favorite commercials of all time. Volkswagen hit it out of the park with the small Darth Vader. I know it had the added bonus of appealing to my geek side but really it was very well done. It was cute and funny. It left you with warm feelings and it certainly left you with the product it was advertising in your brain in a good way. The ad agency that came up with that piece is going to be getting some heavy work this next year.

Then there was Groupon. What the hell was that? It actually left every person in my household offended. You are going to try and sell your service by pointing out a country (Tibet) is totally fucked and sliding into oblivion but hey you could get a bargain on a Tibet restaurant. The ad was stupid and offensive. I can't even imagine why anyone thought it was a good idea. The spot has been universally hated, so I guess Groupon is about to find out if any press is good press.

When done right commercials stick with you in a way that is unexplainable. I can still see the old lady saying "where's the beef!" during a Wendy's commercial. The 1984 ad for Apple is stuck in my head despite the fact I have only seen it a couple of times. In its own way advertising is an art form that reaches millions of people. I just wish more people with some talent were producing them.

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I didn't see the commercials, but I imagine that the ads linked to coupons linked to actual donations do more for a cause than just complaining. Most people who care and want to do something have a greater likelihood of buying a coupon that sends dollars to the cause. I think the Tibetans probably find it funnier.
I think I know what you are talking about which is that they are giving money for coupons used to Tibet. Here's the thing. No where in the ad does it say that (I know I watched it back).

Most of the people I have talked too were completely offended. I guess it was suppose to be a joke but they didn't let on at all. If you have to explain the joke and forget to tell people you are donating money than the ad is a total fail. They have egg on their face.

It makes it actually worse for me that a good cause was involved because that's like a double failure that they didn't let people who are not customers and don't know who they are in on it.