The Super Bowl Ad That’s Generated the Most Press the Day After as Being the Most Controversial Ad Shown

Feb 7, 2011  •  Post A Comment

There’s one ad from Super Bowl Sunday that clearly has generated the most controversy. Seen below, it’s the ad frrom Groupon showing Timothy Hutton using a coupon for Tibetan food after first talking about  the problems of the people of Tibet.

For example one piece about the ad (and two others from Groupon) is this one from the Miami New Times blog, titled, "Crispin Porter + Bougusky is Responsible for Those Horrible Groupon Super Bowl Ads."

The article says, "According to Boston.com’s Brand Bowl 2011 the Groupon ad was the third most tweeted about during the game, but by far got the most negative reaction of any ad broadcast.The website set up for the "Save the Money" campaign features links to donate to charities affiliated with the various issues parodied, which means perhaps their intentions weren’t so bad. Yet, the URL for that specific idea or the idea of donating to the actual charities weren’t mentioned at all in the ads."

The article continues, "What do you think? For a company trying to make its first big foray into traditional advertising and mass awareness did CP+B totally screw up by associating the brand with unnecessary controversy, or is this an "all press is good press" situation that at least got people talking about a website they may not have even been aware of before?"

Interestingly, the Groupon ad with TImothy Hutton was ranked the 41st most popular ad during the Super Bowl by the respected USA Today admeter poll, a full 20 slots higher than the least popular ad shown during the game, which was one from Hyundai.

Here’s the Groupon Timothy Hutton/Tibet ad:


  1. It worked! Everyone is talking about it, giving them more free ads than they could ever have hoped for, brilliant!

  2. Short term it worked to get their name out. Long term they will need to work hard to be sure that the brand is not tied to this in the future. Having the “face-saving” donation opportunities only on the web site makes it even more scurrilous.

  3. The commercial was amazing and so is groupon. I now check http://groupon.com and http://grouponbot.com daily 🙂

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)