Groupon has selected TBWAChiatDay New York as its creative agency of record, following a review launched last summer and managed internally.
“It’s an immensely talented team at TBWA, and we’re thrilled to partner with them,” Groupon CMO Craig Rowley told Adweek.
“Groupon is a great 21st-century brand,” added TBWAChiatDay New York president Nancy Reyes. “We’re just as excited to start working.”
The review process came down to five finalists, which also included Droga5 New York, Fallon New York, Phenomenon in Los Angeles and Odysseus Arms in San Francisco. O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul formerly served as the brand’s agency of record and created its 2018 Super Bowl ad starring Tiffany Haddish. The incumbent opted not to participate in the review.
“We were really pleased with the caliber of agency that was excited about working with Groupon,” said Groupon head of global communications Bill Roberts. TBWA ultimately came out as the best fit for the brand as an agency with a proven track record of delivering integrated campaigns across multiple channels, he added.
“We felt they were the best at articulating our brand vision of becoming a true global local experiences marketplace,” Rowley explained, adding that TBWA was best able to articulate on the creative brief resulting from a 12-week strategic process conducted in collaboration with external strategy firm Hothouse Collaborative, deriving insights about Groupon customers’ core beliefs, the way Groupon enriches their lives and arriving at a new brand positioning focused on experiences.
“TBWA came back with creative storytelling that got to the core of that in a very Groupon way,” he said.
Reyes said TBWA was impressed with the review process.
“The brief was really clear. I can’t emphasize enough how critical that is because it shows the client and brand team had done their work, that they care about where their vision is and how advertising and marketing can fulfill it,” she said. “They were very collaborative. We felt like we were working on this in partnership even though we were being evaluated. That doesn’t happen often. They have tremendous respect for agencies, which is wonderful to see in this day and age.”
TBWA’s work with Groupon will focus on a new brand positioning centered on the experiences Groupon provides for customers, rather than the deal-centric messaging traditionally associated with the brand.
“Customers are always on the hunt for something new and exciting to do. We’re still going to be about discounts, but it’s not going to be the lead. Everyone knows that Groupon does that. It’s more about creating emotional connections,” Rowley said.
While Groupon will work primarily with TBWAChiatDay New York, the brand hasn’t ruled out collaborating with other TBWA offices as it extends its campaign globally. The goal is for TBWA’s brand repositioning effort to establish a global brand campaign and platform, Roberts explained, adding that ideally the brand’s work in North America would establish “a strong enough core message that can easily be adapted” in other markets.
“We really like TBWA’s ability to scale this up into something truly global, and give us some truly top-notch creative in all the places we do business around the world,” he said.
Groupon spent $46 million on marketing globally in 2018 and $48.5 million from July of 2018 to June of last year, according to data consultancy COMvergence.
Roberts and Rowley explained that TBWA’s campaign for the brand would be an integrated effort across multiple channels, noting that it would take greater advantage of social platforms than the brand has in the past. TBWA began working with Groupon on its initial campaign just recently, with the first ads expected sometime in Q2 of 2020.
“I think the challenges [of the assignment] feel more like opportunities,” Reyes said. “It’s a moment to rebrand, reposition and reintroduce Groupon as the brand it now is and will be in the future. We are as excited about the idea as the Groupon team is.”