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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