Ad Title: “Save the Money — Tibet”
Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky
This ad for the local commerce deal site made its debut in Super Bowl XLV — and as with most organizations that pony up big bucks for commercials at America’s Game, Groupon (GRPN) expected to get a very big bang for those bucks.
Crispin Porter + Bogusky — the same agency that brought back Burger King’s (BKC) creepy, masked King — kicked off this ad with actor Timothy Hutton discussing China’s human rights abuses in Tibet. The ad packed a dynamite punch all right, but it blew up in GRPN’s face.
That’s because in advertising as well as football, how you finish matters. Hutton’s socially conscious spot veered off track into a rave about Groupon’s great deals on fish curry at Himalayan eateries. Viewers were shocked and offended by the ad, which many believed to be mocking the plight of Tibetan refugees. Four days later, the ad was history.