Have you ever read the detailed text beneath the general descriptions of those daily deal emails you get from Groupon Philippines (also known as Beeconomics Philippines)? Probably not – not too many people apparently do. But I’m a freak, I read everything.
I guess it’s supposed to be humorous. But the writers pour the irony a little too thick and some of the copy can be borderline offensive.
This is what you get. Take the description that accompanies the 70% offer for American Idol tour tickets:
Before American Idol’s conception in 2002, the number one show in the USA was American Idle; a show where viewers could watch overweight and lazy individuals drinking beer and belching out while watching television.
Here’s the description that accompanies the offer for 58% off on Varicose Vein removal:
In one of Mother Nature’s greatest practical jokes, she made inner beauty twice as powerful as outer beauty, and then concealed it behind the sternum, where only thoracic surgeons could appreciate it. Cultivate your exterior appeal instead with today’s Groupon…
The Groupon tone of writing turns out to be a global standard, according to this piece in Time:
Ok, so funny sells. But really, “American Idle, a show where viewers could watch overweight and lazy individuals drinking beer and belching out…” ?
The Time article also quotes this offer for dental work:
“The Tooth Fairy is a burglarizing fetishist specializing in black-market ivory trade, and she must be stopped. Today’s Groupon helps keep teeth in mouths and out of the hands of maniacal, winged phantasms.”
I tried a writing exercise adopting the Groupon style of copywriting to see if it would be enticing enough to get people to buy the offer. Say for an imaginary offer of 50% off on a steak dinner. The jury’s still out:
Here’s what I came up with:
Back in the stone age when mastodons ruled the earth, Caveman Og was tasked by his mate Sheena to bring home the bacon. Unfortunately in those days, boars had yet to be domesticated, and supermarket freezers hadn’t been invented. For that matter, supermarkets hadn’t been invented yet. This meant that stopping by the supermarket on the way to pick up a pack of bacon was out of the question. Og provided Sheena a nice slab of mastodon rib eye instead, and thus started the practice of eating steak. Groupon now gives you the chance to release your inner Og with this offer…
It gets more and more tedious after this, but you get the drift.