Well, they got the social faux pas they paid for...
Groupon, the social network-powered group discount buying site, aired a controversial ad during the Super Bowl that seemed to make fun of the political struggle in Tibet, with actor Timothy Hutton making light of oppression in the name of good tasting fish. The man behind the ad? Famous film director Christopher Guest.
The director, famous for his mockumentaries such as 'Spinal Tap,' 'Best In Show,' and 'A Mighty Wind,' did exactly what Groupon asked what the ad firm they hired, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, to do, the site said in a blog post on its website.
It was a ploy for charity, they said.
In part, the post said:
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")?
Since we grew out of a collective action and philanthropy site (ThePoint.com) and ended up selling coupons, we loved the idea of poking fun at ourselves by talking about discounts as a noble cause. So we bought the spots, hired mockumentary expert Christopher Guest to direct them, enlisted some celebrity faux-philanthropists, and plopped down three Groupon ads before, during, and after the biggest American football game in the world.