Groupon surrenders to public pressure, pulls Super Bowl ads

The coupon site that debuted its first-ever television commercials during Super Bowl XLV last Sunday, is pulling the ads after negative reaction.

Chicago-based Groupon’s three advertisements for its “Save the Money” campaign a Hollywood star speaking somberly about a cause, then juxtaposing those statements with a pitch for a slightly related deal they got off Groupon. In one 30-second ad that aired during the Super Bowl’s third quarter, actor Timothy Hutton spoke of the plight of the Tibetan people and their culture as images of snow-capped peaks and dancing children cut away to Hutton sitting at Himalayan Restaurant in Chicago touting the fish curry.

Other ads that aired before and after the Super Bowl were similar. One featured actor Cuba Gooding Jr. talking about saving whales, who added it would be more fun to observe the mammals on a whale-watching tour using a Groupon discount. Another featured actress Elizabeth Hurley discussing the thinning of Brazil’s rainforests, only to highlight a “deforestation” deal at a Brazilian wax spa in New York City.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky has gained acclaim, attention and notoriety for its creations such as “The King” for Burger King, the anti-smoking campaign “The Truth” and “I’m a PC” for Microsoft.