Ordinarily, I cringe when I see sex jokes or a “sex sells” approach in marketing. So often the effort ends up being crass and totally in the gutter. Enter the Banana Bunker on Groupon’s Facebook page and I was reminded that when done right, sex can sell.
The Banana Bunker’s hard plastic tube with a ribbed mid-section naturally invited lots of mischievous comments from Facebook users. Groupon responded to every one of the comments (practically in real time) in a brilliantly innocent and innocuous fashion that was beyond genius and hilarious.
Groupon got amazing mileage out of this effort with over 46,000 shares and 19,000+ likes, and a sell out of the Banana Bunker. But more importantly, they advanced a personality and an image of Groupon as a brand — a brand that is more than just a deal-of-the day website.
Reality Check: Not many marketers would have had the courage or, more realistically, the permission to do something as outrageously funny around a phallic-looking protective banana container. Fortunately the Groupon team was both talented and empowered to make this a raging social media success for the brand and, to provide some good laughs along the way. Amazing what talent and empowerment can do.