I am fairly new to sites like Groupon and Living Social, but I love the idea behind them. When I was based in Los Angeles, I trained at a “boot camp” almost every day with Jimmy, a fantastic coach.* By crowdsourcing, Jimmy was able to register several hundred LA residents for a month’s worth of classes – reaching out to more clients than otherwise possible and giving participants a steal of a deal while still leaving a cut for the website that connected the two parties. Brilliant.
I got turned onto the idea and signed up for Groupon’s LA-based email list a few days before I headed to the East Coast. Realizing that the timing was all wrong, I unsubscribed from the list a few days later and was taken to a page with the following message:
“We’re sorry to see you go. Want to punish Derrick (the guy in charge of the subscriptions)?”
Below the message was a big red button that said “Punish Derrick”. Despite harboring no ill will against this guy, Yair urged me to click the button and I went for it, setting into motion a video that opened with Derrick sitting in his chair by his computer. Another employee came out of a side office, yelled at Derrick on my behalf and then proceeded to take an enormous bucket of water and pour it all over Derrick. Poor thing!
The video ended with a tagline that read: “Want to make it up to Derrick? Re-subscribe.” The playfulness of the site took me by surprise and I loved the informality behind it. More and more (e.g. Apple and American Express), companies are realizing that nobody wants to be read a script, and that humor and professionalism can go hand in hand.
Have you guys ever used Groupon, Living Social or similar sites? Any steals to report?
*Parenthetically, there was strong interest in my running a boot camp session on the Birthright trip. I designed an intense one-hour workout complete with warm up and stretch, seven exercises that alternated cardio and muscle-building for one minute each (repeating the circuit three times) and abs. The group loved the workout, sweat was flying by the end and the best part was this: A group of Israeli soldiers joined us for part of the trip, two of whom participated in boot camp. Both of the (combat!) soldiers came up to me after the class and told me two things. First, that my class was one of the best workouts that they’ve had in their three years in the military. Second, they were emphatic that I should take on a position as a trainer in the IDF and said that they would introduce me to the commanders that could make it happen. I’m not quite cut out for a military career at this time, but I loved the feedback and was psyched to add “personal trainer” to my list of hats.
posted by ayo