Groupon tries to spin away from its Super Bowl ad

grouponAfter offending pretty much everyone – including the Chinese government – with its horrible ad which said, “You can’t save Tibet but we can save you money at a Tibetan restaurant, Groupon is hoping spin will save it from having to say it’s sorry.

Groupon founder Andrew Mason wrote in his blog:

"We would never have run these ads if we thought they trivialized the causes — even if we didn’t take them as seriously as we do, what type of company would go out of their way to be so antagonistic?

A really, really stupid one. That’s what type.

Kudos to Groupon for so quickly going from a neutral brand to one with significant negatives. Not easy to do when your sole public purpose is to help people save money. The ad also pulled off the unique trick of being the first thing that both the Tibetan exiles and Chinese government have ever agreed on.

Here’s my favorite piece of fallout: Even the owner of the Himalayan restaurant mentioned in the ad, is pissed at them. 


It wasn’t just you: Ad Execs unimpressed by this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads

I am now writing for Here’s my first story:

This was one of those rare years when the Super Bowl game outshone the Super Bowl ads. While the Pittsburgh Steelers kept viewers interested by threatening a historic comeback, many of the TV spots felt like reruns, ad agency executives told

“The advertising was OK. It was less impactful than in years past,” said Rob Scalea, CEO of the Americas for The Brand Union. “[The ads] can’t always be breakthrough—after a few years that runs its course.”

Read the rest at

Your stock holder dollars at work: What it costs to entertain at the Super Bowl

SBXLIIWhat follows is a verbatim copy of an email I received — I’m guessing by accident — listing one company’s prices offered to corporations for Super Bowl entertainment. Simply put: Hospitality has a markup of at least $1K.

“Below you will find our listing of GameDay Hospitality and tickets.

Ticket Only Ticket w/Hospitality

End zones and Corners $3,490 $4,499
Endzones-20’s $3,845 $4,799
Between the 20’s $4,435 $5,199

Endzone $4,140 $5,699
Corners $4,635 $6,499
Endline-15 $5,420 $7,899
15-30 $7,235 $8,235
Between the 30 $8,315 $9,365

The GameDay Program includes NFL guaranteed Game Ticket, Exclusive In-Stadium Hospitality (pregame food stations, open bar and live entertainment), NFL Experience Ticket and Official NFL Super Bowl Gift Bag.”

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At $40K per copy, how many copies of this book does it take to become as best seller?

Super Bowl XL Opus MVP Edition.

“Every copy of the Opus, Limited or MVP edition, is hand-sewn and bound, covered in the finest quality leather, and presented in a wood-construction clamshell-style case covered in screen-printed silk. The MVP Edition shares the same content and production quality as the Limited Edition, but with one incredible difference. Each of the individually numbered copies from 1 to 400 has a single extra page—the MVP signature page. The Most Valuable Player award has created a special peer group of iconic football superstars. Incredibly, we have secured the signatures of every living MVP from the history of the Super Bowl on one page. The MVP Edition is not only the ultimate record of the Super Bowl, but also an amazing collector’s piece; an item of sports memorabilia unrivalled in the history of sport.”

Just the thing to read after playing that $20K boardgame. Buy it from Amazon and they’ll ship it for free! Here’s the best line on the page: “Only 3 left in stock–order soon (more on the way).”


(Thanks to Skott at Textiplication for the tip!)

Sex & The Super Bowl (ads)

There were actually a lot of sexually subversive ads in this year’s crop of Super Bowl premiers. My favorite was the one for the car where all the guys stripped off their clothes in order to touch “it.” The Doritos one where the plus sized cashier got to actually be sexually attractive and assertive was also a nice change of pace. Then there was the Snickers ad where the to guys working on a car have a kind of Lady & The Tramp moment with a candy bar, then realized their lips have touched and as a reaction have to do something “manly.” In this case what they did is pull out large swaths of chest hair and howl with pain. Now I saw this and took it as a really funny comment on homophobia.

See the ad here.

Now the Human Rights Campaign took umbrage at this in what I thought was a complete show of a lack of humor. I thought this until I saw HRC’s reference to “Three alternate endings to the commercial spot are posted on the Snickers website, one of which includes the two men violently attacking one another – which sends a dangerous message to the public condoning violence against gay Americans. … Two other video clips posted on the Snickers website feature players from the Bears and the Colts watching the ads and responding to the two men kissing.”

Looked for them today and haven’t been able to find those alternate endings any where. Now I’m intrigued. Anyone know where to find them? Bueller?

News of the weekend in review, Part 2: The Patriots

Two weeks ago, the better team lost. Yesterday, the better team won. I will confess to having picked the Chargers over my own beloved Pats in that playoff game. The Chargers were the better team in every way except brains. Not just Bill Belichick and the coaches’ smarts but the smart of the players on the field. That and Marty Schottenheimer let the Pats win. Given that, I was hard pressed to go with my brain which said Colts over my heart which said Pats. I went with my heart but my brain was not surprised by the outcome.
The Colts did to New England what we wanted to do to them: Exhaust the defense. Our D was in much worse cumulative shape than theirs was and it showed. Too many injuries, only one great cornerback and a secondary that was suspect all season. My hat is off to Brady, Troy Brown, Assante Samuel and the others for doing as well as they did all season. That yesterday’s game was as close as it was is a testament to how good they really are.

As for the Superbowl, I have a quandry. I can’t root for the Colts because I never, ever root for a team that has moved. I still haven’t forgiven the Bears for that last time we played them in the Big Game. Guess, I’ll go for Da Bears because it would be a real hoot to see Rex Grossman get MVP. He won’t. And the Bears won’t win, but I’ll root for them anyway.

My other prediction: Lower ratings. Chicago vs. Indy? C’mon. No back story. Pats would’ve brought out the whole dynasty continues. Saints would have been the ultimate feel good. The only possible back story — the first African-American coach to ever etc. — was ruined because both teams have Black coaches. All we have now is the fact that someone is going to be the first team coached by a person of color to lose to a team coached by another person of color in The SUPERBOWL!!!


Pat Robertson spreads the Good News: No Nukes — maybe — in 2007

I’m not necessarily saying it’s going to be nuclear. The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.” — Pat Robertson, predicting some sort of attack on the US in the coming year.

I’m just relieved The Lord didn’t say nu-cu-lear.

Robertson has previously predeicted that President Bush would win the 2004 election by a landslide and “that Bush would have victory after victory in his second term.”

Other picks:

  1. Superbowl winner: Detroit Lions
  2. World Series: Cubs
  3. Brittany and K-Fed get back together

Best quote in the story: “I have a relatively good track record,” he said. “Sometimes I miss.”

But you claimed God is your inside source. This means either God isn’t quite as omnipotent and omniscient as you  claim or maybe the Supreme Being just likes messing with  you.

Mencken in Color“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

— Mencken