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Chrysler and Groupon Super Bowl Ads Same Difference

February 16th, 2011 · 1 Comment

What makes those Groupon ads different from the Chrysler ad aside from production value? Nothing. They’re all designed to make us buy stuff.

Perhaps, one of the best things that ever happened during Super Bowl XLV (aside from the Packers win, of course) is the Chrysler commercial (see video above) featuring Detroit and Eminem. We’ve written about ongoing efforts to revitalize Motor City before and it was a pleasant surprise to see the Chrysler commercial in the middle of watching Super Bowl. I remember thinking to myself – ‘now, there’s a winner.’

And it was a coup indeed for Chrysler. The ad plays on the viewers core emotions – stirring music, deep-voiced folksy narrator, and reference to the city’s resilience (“a town that’s been to hell and back”) – no American having a hard time in this terrible economy and hoping for a rebound can possibly resist.

At the office, on TV, in the papers – people were all talking about. For a commercial, it succeeded to connect to our deepest convictions, thanks to the million-dollar ad geniuses that Chrysler employed in this campaign.

Now, contrast all those positive reactions to the overwhelmingly negative publicity that Super Bowl ads run by another company, Groupon, generated.

Watch video: Groupon’s Whale Watching ad ft. Cuba Gooding, Jr.

TV pundits, activists, bloggers, even Twitter regulars all chimed in to castigate Groupon. The ads “cheapened and trivialized” the cause of whale conservation and the struggle of the Tibetan people, the pundits were saying. Why? Because the ads promote discounts to a restaurant in Chicago and a whale watching cruise not a luxury car made in Detroit?

The suffering of thousands of families in Motor City whose lives and livelihood were devastated when Detroit lost countless jobs to overseas markets is just as real as the plight of whales and the fight of the Tibetans. Why isn’t anyone saying that the Chrysler ad “cheapened and trivialize” Detroit’s plight?

Guys, they’re all advertisements. What makes those Groupon ads different from the Chrysler ad aside from production value? Nothing. They’re all designed to make us buy stuff.

Watch video: Groupon’s Himalayan Restaurant ad ft. Timothy Hutton

I’m probably biased since I’m a fan of Groupon. I had a wonderful dinner date with my wife on Valentines Day and this Saturday, my daughter and I will be watching a Don Quixote balet performance, center seats and all – both dates paid for at half price thanks to Groupon.

But, that doesn’t change the fact that we’re talking about commercials here. Some people really need to lighten up.

If anything, it’s an educational moment for Groupon. Run your commercial for a full two minutes, hire a deep-voiced folksy narrator, put in some dramatic music, and pander to our emotions next time. Now, that’s cheap.

What do you think?

Tags: News

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Emmanuel Gonot // Feb 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    The ads, by the way, were created for Groupon by the firm Crispin Porter & Bogusky. What was lost to many viewers was that these are essentially spoofs of straight fund-raising ads of charities or non-profits that we usually see.

    The most important component of the Groupon campaign that should have been mentioned in those ads is the actual partnership between Groupon and some highly trusted organizations who are advocating for those causes.

    In its partnership with Greenpeace, for example, to help raise funds for their campaign to end commercial whaling, Groupon will match every donation that its members give to Greenpeace up to $100,000. Greenpeace, the very group who’s right there in the middle of the fight to save the whales should be the first group to be offended by the ad, but they actually support it – something that detractors might want to think about.