“Save the Money”

I get it. You’re trying to be funny, sarcastic, and witty. You’re trying to think out of the box and use humor that catches people’s attention and makes them actually remember the ad. Instead of Saving Tibet, why not just Save Money. According to Groupon:

The gist of the concept is this: When groups of people act together to do something, it’s usually to help a cause. With Groupon, people act together to help themselves by getting great deals. So what if we did a parody of a celebrity-narrated, PSA-style commercial that you think is about some noble cause (such as “Save the Whales”), but then it’s revealed to actually be a passionate call to action to help yourself (as in “Save the Money”)?

I don’t really think the commercial achieves the sense of satire that Groupon had intended it to. All I think of when I see this commercial is how disrespectful, insensitive and ignorant Timothy Hutton sounds. On their blog, Groupon does explain that…

…you can donate to mission-driven organizations that are doing great work for the causes featured in our PSA parodies. If you guys pony up, Groupon will contribute matching donations of up to $100,000 for three featured charities – Rainforest Action NetworkbuildOn, and the Tibet Fund — and Groupon credit of up to $100,000 for contributions made to Greenpeace.

What do you think of it?

3 Replies to ““Save the Money””

  1. The content of the ad quickly goes from highlighting the plight of Tibetans to a representative Tibetan in a service position. The core message of the ad is our contribution as consumers. Nothing more is expected of us. This ad is just part of the bread and circuses that is the Super Bowl. We should not expect too much from advertisements as their primary purpose is for their own benefit: to sell you a product. Any ancillary benefits of an advertisement, including a respect for the truth, are exactly that: subordinate to selling a product.

    In this case, the ancillary benefit of matching donations from Groupon for the three featured charities amount to a maximum of $100,000, and is dependent on their customers jumping in first. This is coming from a quickly successful company that just passed up a $6 billion buyout offer from Google and spent $3 million for the 30 second ad we just watched. I’m sure they’ve contributed many dollars elsewhere, but they’re in business first and foremost to make money. To expect any more from them would just lead to disappointment.

    I wasn’t even aware of the ad until you mentioned it, but up to 111 million people who watched the Super Bowl were aware of the ad. They and Timothy Hutton can eat all the fish curry they want.

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