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Groupon and Best Buy: CP+B’s Super Bowl Flops—or a Coup?

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Fox News claims Sunday’s game was the most watched television show in TV history, and Boulder’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky advertising agency (along with the Boulder office of 3-D masters RealID) was behind some of the night’s most talked-about spots. The Daily Camera offered veiled previews of the ads over the weekend, suggesting the campaign for Groupon.com might be “controversial.”

That turned out to be an understatement, after the company made light of Tibet’s journey for political freedom, dwindling whale populations, and rain forest depletion (all below). The ads managed to piss off everyone from social activists (via the Associated Press) to the nation of China (via AdFreak). Groupon explains its approach and reasons for hiring CP+B for the campaign, which includes a web component that asks customers to donate to the very social causes the commercials parody.

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The New York Times’ MediaDecoder live blogger noted (in the post filed at 9:03 p.m. EST) the “shock tactic” is “popular right now,” and Tech Crunch wasn’t offended, pointing out, “Guess whose commercials people will be talking about at the water cooler tomorrow?” The Groupon ads have likely bolstered the already impressive cache of CP+B, which is also behind the commercial for Best Buy. While neither campaign scores highly on USA Today’s Ad Meter, they both get top billing from Advertising Age, which writes, “Thank god for Justin Bieber, Timothy Hutton, Best Buy, Groupon, and CPB.”

Vanessa Martinez contributed to this post.

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