Assaulting Employees: FUNNY! Really, Groupon?

I just don’t get it.

Maybe I’m not funny after all.

Apparently this Groupon video for unsubscribing is the cat’s meow, the bee’s knees, so funny you’ll puke. Just asked Wired, that’s what THEY think.

Me, I watch it and think “Wow, we’re just a sad, sad society.”

2,000 years ago, the Romans threw Christians to the lions. We got off on seeing people hurt and killed as entertainment.

You’d think, in the Information Age, that we would have progressed some, so that we’re not at that stage where we think it’s a blast to see people hurt or tormented. Sadly, you’re kinda wrong, it seems.

We’ve toned it down, but the gist of enjoying the humiliation and harm, that’s still there. Way to go, society. Stay classy.

Sure, all that happens in this video is a guy gets chewed out, pushed around, and a cup of presumably hot coffee (since most mostly-full cups of coffee tend to be recently acquired) thrown into his face.

I’m sure no Groupon Employees were harmed in this video, but the suggestion is that, DUDE, it’s HAH-LARRI-YUS to chuck scalding beverages into a peer’s face. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Chuckle! Giggle. “That’ll leave a mark, dude!”

Can’t we be a little better than this? Can’t the same message be achieved by dropping a bomb on a computer and saying, “Bad computer! BAD! No email for you!” or something?

Well, yes.

But this is what happens when you like to shock and sensationalize for notoriety and water-cooler cachet.

We can be better than this.

Unfortunately, some folk who write the newspapers and stuff (lookin’ at you, Wired) seem to think Groupon’s writing is awesome and their ads are terrific.

In the social media trenches, though, more people than not tell me they hate Groupon’s writing. A number of people have unsubscribed on that basis alone. I haven’t even mentioned the Groupon Superbowl debacle, or the recent controversial ad that poked fun at depression as being a great sleep aid.

Groupon’s lack of taste is ridiculous, and it’s disappointing that there isn’t a larger hue and cry about it.

Thankfully, it seems consciousness has been growing since the Superbowl ads, and I’d hope the prevalence of things like Deal By Day’s newsletter, which aggregates all your local deals into one daily 6:30am email, might increase the number of people who unsubscribe from Groupon’s daily letter, who start shopping a broader array of deals, and will send a message that it’s not okay to mock committing cruelty to people, as Groupon has done on a few occasions now.

But, hey, like I say. Maybe I’m just not funny anymore.

Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe this whole “I’m past treating people like shit for a gag” thing is some emotional midlife crisis.

Who knows.

I just know I ain’t impressed. I ain’t laughin’. And I know I ain’t alone.

Groupon’s market share is falling, for a lot of reasons. I think the media doesn’t realize how much a contingent of the public loathes Groupon’s marketing, definitely a reason many of us have walked away. With ads like these, I say it couldn’t happen to a better company. Groupon walking away from a $6 billion sale to Google? Probably the stupidest decision since putting all the marketing eggs into one Crocs-shoe basket.

Oh… and I haven’t bought a Groupon since last August. Hello, DealByDay newsletter, how YOU doin’?