The Worst Groupon Ad Ever?

Categories: The Interwebs

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50 percent off sandwiches with a "vise-like grip"!
"My mom sent me this today," began the email from my co-worker, which he'd simply titled "How NOT To Write a Groupon Description."

"She says the place is really terrific," he continued, "but this description...I mean..."

The Groupon ad, for a wine bar in Spring called Crescent Moon, started out innocuously enough:

Tables at fine-dining restaurants are known for their fancy white-linen outfits, unlike tables in home kitchens, which are notorious for going nude.

...wait, going nude? I'm sure that's just a sort of lame attempt at being cute and funny. Right?

But the ad only got stranger from there. Like an overeager copywriter's first piece of descriptive writing, the ad unfolded into a flowery piece of fluff made stranger by subtle hints of creepiness in its edges.

Tuscany-inspired stone arches soar over leather chairs clustered around candlelit tables where diners tuck into Crescent Moon Wine Bar and Restaurant's compilation of tender Italian meats, pizzas, and paninis. During dinner rendezvous, 8-ounce braised beef short rib steeped since sunrise in Shiner Bock gravy falls from bones to plates piled with mashed potatoes, broccolini, and fried brussels sprouts ($24). A sheen of pomegranate glaze glistens like a diamond ring fresh from the rock tumbler atop pan-seared salmon fillets ($18). The lunch menu accentuates lighter fare with noshes such as the merlot panini, a sizzling herbed chicken breast and bacon with mushrooms and swiss cheese clamped in the vise-like grip of a white or wheat bun ($10). Marco pizzas hoist arugula, apples, and truffle oil spread across swiss and brie cheese to new homes in mouths ($12, add shaved prosciutto for $2) or the secret compartment of a magician's top hat.

Musicians pump out a soft score for feasts nearly every night amid racks lined with more than 300 wines (though today's Groupon is not valid for alcohol). Exposed wooden beams hover overhead like the spirits of overprotective ancestors, while Italian-inspired paintings punctuate alternating stone and stucco walls.

(Emphasis mine.)

I'm sure Crescent Moon is a perfectly nice place, but I also don't want to eat with exposed wooden beam poltergeists hovering above my head, nor do I want its "Marco pizzas" to make a new home in my mouth. Wouldn't permanently housing food in your mouth cause gum disease and tooth decay?

Congratulations, Crescent Moon. Your Groupon writer has secured a spot in our pantheon of shame, affixed firmly between The Muffin Man's penis-heavy flyer advertising a new Montrose restaurant and restaurateur Paul West's insane press release describing himself as an elitist, an asshole, a solider of fortune and a mercenary.

And you thought it couldn't get any worse than penis-shaped bakeries...



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19 comments
CLF
CLF

Groupon has some of the worst jokes I've ever heard.  They're trying way too hard to be funny.  "Overeager copywriter" sounds just about right.  

FullMetalPegasus
FullMetalPegasus

These are humor writers...and they're really funny. If you're not entertained, that's ok, but I highly doubt anyone would pass up on trying this place for fear that their meal will be interrupted by poltergeists overhead. Lighten up man.

FullMetalPegasus
FullMetalPegasus

These are humor writers...and they're really funny. If you're not entertained, that's ok, but I highly doubt anyone would pass up on trying this place for fear that their meal will be interrupted by poltergeists overhead. Lighten up man.

Dcwhite_98
Dcwhite_98

Groupon is bad for businesses, especially small businesses. I own one and know first hand. Cut your price in half, then give half of that to Groupon, so you keep 1/4 of your revenues. NO realistic amount of volume will ever make up for that. Groupon will die not only because of too many copycats but businesses will figure this out quickly and stop offering these ridulous sales/discounts.

Bruce R
Bruce R

There are many recognizable influences in that writing, but Smoove B stands out.

Glenn Livet
Glenn Livet

"Liberate yourself from my vice-like grip." Even if you don't like Catcher in the Rye, that shit is funny.

Tim
Tim

I love the 'vise-like grip' line because, if anything compares to solid metal for toughness, it should be your bread whether white or wheat...

Tim
Tim

I love the 'vise-like grip' line because, if anything compares to solid metal for toughness, it should be your bread whether white or wheat...

Francesco Orodinapoli
Francesco Orodinapoli

Wow, Rick. Just wow.

Remind me of the time I was driving down Kirby and saw the announcement for a new restaurant opening and they had this huge banner outside that said "Chef Inspired Dishes".

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

Sounds like an auto word filler/fluffer.

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

Sounds like an auto word filler/fluffer.

Sarah Gabbart
Sarah Gabbart

Totally agree Dcwhite - I used to own a small business and was told by many other owners to beware. So glad that I did! While a Groupon might be great for larger places that can take the hit revenue-wise, small business end up with an operational nightmare, a highly discounted product or service, and, while so many awesome people do come in after purchasing a Groupon and become customers, there are a ton of people who just want the deal and nothing else. Most of those folks never come back - they just move on to the next deal!

PM
PM

Not to disagree entirely, but the benefit of the groupon to business owner is primarily twofold:1) Get people in the door to try your food/product so that you get a chance to impress them and win repeat, non-discounted business.2) Generate revenue above and beyond the groupon special offer.  I may use a $50 of food for $25 groupon, but my plan is to go and spend over $100 after two to three courses and wine/cocktails. 

Groupon may compress margins on a single visit, but I don't think that accurately reflects the potential utility of the service to small business orders. 

Tanbunz
Tanbunz

PM obviously works for Groupon.

ShitThrowingMonkey
ShitThrowingMonkey

That's the way we've always used them...i.e. coupon of $25 off if $50 spent, we usually spend much more than $50.

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