Immediately after one of its three commercials ran during Fox’s second-half coverage of Super Bowl XLV, hundreds of people took to Twitter to air their displeasure with the ad.
The commercial in question involves actor Timothy Hutton, who makes light of Tibet’s social ills by touting a discount offer on Groupon:
“Mountainous Tibet - one of the most beautiful places in the world. This is Timothy Hutton. The people of Tibet are in trouble, their very culture in jeopardy. But they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought on Groupon.com we’re getting $30 worth of Tibetan food for just $15 at Himalayan restaurant in Chicago.”
Here is a sampling of Twitter comments about the ad:
That @Groupon commercial was terribly offensive. Way to commodify an entire people’s real struggles & experience.
That Tibet commercial of yours was the most offensive thing I’ve seen all day! #yousuck
Groupon, your commercial insulted a lot of people. good job. you suck.
@groupon You lost another customer from that Super Bowl commercial.
I guess Groupon decided to do a funny commercial about Tibet because Darfur would be in bad taste? #adFAIL
While the comments on Twitter are overwhelmingly negative, not everyone was offended by the spot. For instance:
Come on people. Was the groupon commercial in rather poor taste. Yes. Did they mean it maliciously. Doubt it.
So far, the Tibet Groupon commercial has been my favorite. #themoreyouknow #SuperBowl
For its part, Groupon’s Twitter account linked to a site where you can not only view the commercials but also donate money to charities related to the spots:
Support Tibet’s largest charity here: http://savethemoney.groupon.com/
Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason told The Wall Street Journal he didn’t consider the ad to be offensive, calling it a “spoof” on the company and celebrity-endorsed public service announcements.
OP: And holy shit is Twitter ever pissed about it too.