Mixed reviews for Groupon’s latest TVCs

While some industry experts feel that the ads are engaging and disruptive, others think that the humour is off

e4m by Sai Prasanna
Updated: Dec 3, 2012 7:27 PM
Mixed reviews for Groupon’s latest TVCs

Groupon India (earlier known as Crazeal) recently celebrated the first anniversary of its successful operations in India. To mark this milestone, it kicked off its first TV campaign that aims at reaching out to a larger audience and communicates the the value proposition.

Elaborating on the campaign, Sachin Kapur, CMO, Groupon India said, “We started by building the Groupon brand in India through a series of experiential marketing exercises. We reached a critical mass of high influencers and early adopters through our experiential marketing campaign in the first year of our venture in India. To take our brand to the next level we have decided to venture into mass media advertising.”

“As a brand, Groupon India offers consumers access to the hottest brands at the coolest prices. We will continue to give our customers some of the best experiences in the city through our line-up of ‘The craziest deals’. Our new TV campaign is aimed at bringing out this proposition in a unique and humorous style. With the foray into TV as a marketing channel, we aim to reach out to a larger consumer group and we are confident that our rib-tickling commercials will instantly catch attention,” he added.

Zarvan Patel, Founder and Creative Director, ideas@work, revealed the idea that translated into the ads. “The thought behind the commercials was very simple – Indians loves deals and are impulsive negotiators. We have stuck to this insight and have crafted our ads accordingly. With a zillion deal websites in the country, it was important to differentiate Groupon India which isn’t one of the run-of-the-mill discount flaunting websites. The ads will leave the consumer with a surprise element and will lead them to the website to check out the exclusive deals that Groupon has to offer.”

The campaign will be promoted through a 360-degree marketing effort with television, on-ground, OOH, digital and social media. The company will be taking the OOH route to advertise across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. In addition to the three commercials, Groupon will also release two animated ads that will go live shortly. As part of the campaign, multiple commercials will also be released on Groupon’s YouTube channel.

Kapur added, “We are using television to reach out to a larger set of audience and create a funnel which will then be converted into customers using performance-based online advertising. Our Facebook page provides consumers with an overall experience of the brand. We offer some exclusive deals and run contests to keep our consumers intrigued. Some of our ads will also be released exclusively on our YouTube channel.”

Engaging customers
Last month, on the occasion of Groupon’s first anniversary, it launched a special campaign to surprise consumers with irresistible raffles every day with five-gram Tanishq gold coins, iPads, Shoppers Stop gift vouchers, Sony Bravia LED TVs, Tata Nanos, and more up for grabs.

Previously, Groupon had run a ‘larger than life’ raffle including an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas for two at the Bellagio and a free Harley Davidson bike, which saw tremendous enthusiasm from consumers across the country. It also recently hosted a special screening of Hollywood blockbusters ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ across nine cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Chandigarh, and Pune) and gave consumers an exclusive preview of the ad campaign. The special screening involved the Groupon team manning the ticket booking stalls, addressing the crowd before the start of the movie, and steering on-ground activities to give moviegoers a flavour of its personalised services. Multiple on-ground touch-points were created to increase brand presence and engage with consumers. The tickets were priced at a 50 per cent discount and the hall was booked exclusively for Groupon customers.

As a part of its experiential marketing campaign, Groupon had tied up with 60 Café Coffee Day outlets to reach out to the youth and give them a unique experience of a special trademarked cappuccino for free.

On tackling competition, Kapur stated, “Competition is always healthy as it leads to the overall growth of the industry. For me, the real competition for Groupon is not the other e-tailing and e-commerce websites as we own the local-commerce space. For me, the competition for Groupon is internal and comes from other Groupon countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong. Our ads follow the global Groupon ethos.”

Industry speak
Experts in the field have come out with mixed responses but with the same undertone – nothing fantastic going on here.

Vipul Thakkar, Executive Creative Director, DDB Mudra – South said, “The films are definitely engaging, disruptive and unlike any communication done by Groupon’s competitors such as Snapdeal. This will surely set them apart. Having said that, not all three films fall into one campaign idea as the ‘Karate class’ and ‘Restaurant’ films have visual storytelling and the ‘Travel’ film’s communication is VO-heavy.”

Sham Ramachandran, Executive Creative Director – VP South, Grey Worldwide, “I saw the first commercial – the tourist one – and thought maybe it’s going someplace. But then I watched the second and the third commercials to realise where it was going – that mystical land called ‘Down’. Humour is tricky, there’s no such thing as ‘not a bad joke’. It's either on or off. Unfortunately, here it is off. However, I do think it will get noticed and perhaps recalled like those unpleasant memories you’d rather forget but keep playing over and over like a stuck record.”

TVC details
Duration: 30 sec
Creative agency: ideas@work
Production house: Films Group
Directors: Prashant Godbole and Zarvan Patel

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