Groupon’s ad fail

When I saw one Groupon advertisement for Father’s Day for “the guy who carried you for nine months”, I thought it was an accident, a cut and paste from Mother’s Day that hadn’t been caught.  But now I’ve gotten another one.  With two ridiculous tag lines:

“Deals to celebrate the man who carried you around for nine months.”

“Father’s Day deals for the man who felt you kick inside him for nine months.”


Delete and unsubscribe.

ETA:  as zladko notes in the comments, Groupon could be marketing toward transgender dads.  Which is absolutely true, and if they are then I owe their marketing department an apology for assuming this was just sloppy ad copy.  It’s a possibility that I had considered and discarded, as I mention in my response.  But again, if it is considered and planned, then mea culpa.



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8 responses to “Groupon’s ad fail

  1. I thought it was a well-written phishing scam. I deleted it too.

  2. It’s not ridiculous, there are dads who give birth. They’re usually transgender. Only thing strange is that Groupon only has tag lines that apply to trans dads which is unusual for any company, and as far as I can tell, they haven’t said anything about why they’re doing it or that they’re doing it on purpose at all.

    • You’re absolutely right. I thought about transgender fathers for a moment, but discarded the possibility, since Groupon doesn’t seem to have a distinct marketing plan for any LGBTQ segments.

      If that was Groupon’s marketing intent with the tags, though, the promotion fails in some ways for me as a consumer and recipient of their marketing. Primarily because although the tag may be trans friendly, what it’s marketing is a stereotypical Homer Simpson-type male or dad thing (bowling and beer). Do a lot of dads enjoy that, transgender or otherwise? Maybe, but neither my dad or my stepdad nor any of the fathers of my immediate acquaintance would be interested in that as a Father’s Day gift. And it feels like a backhanded way of homogenizing transgender dads — hey, you’re a trans dad, you must like this thing that pop culture says is a manly thing to do!

      Secondarily, because as noted above, in no other way have they ever distinguished their marketing so specifically, which makes me think it was just sloppy copyediting. But I may be too skeptical on that point, so…If it is an intentional marketing move, then I owe Groupon an apology.

      • I don’t think they were intentionally marketing to trans* dads (if they were, I think they’d have separate very obviously cis-dad ad copy), but a person can dream. I think what happened (and there’s no way I can tell, but this seems to be what other people came up with) is that the original was a mistake, and now they’re just playing along with it as a joke. My friend also suggested that they’re making a joke about how big Mother’s Day is or something.

        If they were on purpose, not as a joke, that’d be pretty amazing despite the very stereotypical deals they provide. I don’t know much about groupon in general, but they seem to block things in precise categories, so this specific Father’s Day set with cigars and beer etc feels the same amount of awkwardly mainstream as the whole site. The reason I said something is because it’s a legitimate thing that happens so the ‘mistake’ is more accidentally right (although uncommon) than absurd.

        Hopefully it won’t always seem so ‘obviously wrong’ to people.

  3. Milly

    That is a pretty small target market…

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