Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When Stella lost her Groupon

When I first encountered Groupon, I thought it was pretty cool. I liked it when there was a restaurant near me where I could pay $20 and get $40 worth of food. But those offers are few and far between. Now  most of the offers are for teeth whitening, Yoga classes and places offering Brazilian waxes. Tell me, how many Brazilian waxes can you possibly get in a month. Wait, don't tell me.

I know that Groupon is hooking in lots of small businesses eager to draw in new customers with the hopes that they will become repeat customers. I'm willing to bet that most of the people buying the Groupon coupons are already customers of those establishments and are just capitalizing on the opportunity to get a $40 meal for $20. So I imagine the only ones really drumming up more business with Groupon is Groupon.

As the Groupon offers have become more and more useless, their copywriters have become more and more annoying. For example, here's a line for an offer for wine tasting classes: "Grape juice magically transforms into wine in the same way milk becomes cheese and a 1972 Dodge Dart becomes an even older 1972 Dodge Dart." Or a line from a custom framing offer: "Art collectors protect their pictures the same way that crime bosses discipline their children—by having them framed."

The copywriter should be pelted with Funk and Wagnalls and AP Style Guides and be issued a restraining order from going within 10-feet of a keyboard.

And their website is full of even more half-witticisms like, "The Situation: A bully kicks sand in your face. Use Your Mind or Your Body? Neither. Instead of using your body to fight back or your mind to conjure up a clever retort, harness your sense of shame to detach your body's molecules from each other and dissipate into the ether."

This is the kind of drivel I used to write when I was in college and thought every word I wrote was the ultimate in clever.

It wasn't. And I hope the Groupon copywriters wake up one day, read what they've written reel in horror at what depths they sank to in their youthful folly.

I could continue to wax poetic about Groupon's crimes against ad copy, but I'm late for Brazilian wax treatment. Then I'm off to my Yoga class. I'm not sure that doing them in that order was such a wise idea, but I'll let you know how it goes.

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