Groupon - Save the Money
This campaign has drawn a lot of mixed reactions within the ad industry. Some think it’s funny. Others question my taste. Me? I learned more about the pros and cons of controversial advertising from this campaign than anything else I’ve ever worked on. Take that however you will, but they were fun as hell to shoot and I got to make Super Bowl ads when the Packers won the ship.
Groupon wanted to be the talk of Super Bowl XLV. And with our help, they got their wish. But such attention was not achieved without pissing off most of America AND all of China. In fact, Mashable crowned the "Tibet" spot as the worst Super Bowl commercial of all time. Yes, the campaign was controversial, but it also raised public awareness for some faltering causes.
Before these spots aired, we placed an ad on the NewYorkTimes.com as well as emailed Groupon subscribers with a pre-apology for what everyone was about to see.
Viewers to SaveTheMoney.org were given the opportunity to donate to each charity featured in the spots. Groupon then matched each dollar.
Oh, and Conan spent three nights in a row after the Super Bowl spoofing the campaign, which gave them some fun and free impressions
Not everyone hated us. Lawrence O’Donnell was one of them.