In 2010 Groupon came up with a new campaign that would put one individuals life on hold for an entire year, The Live off Groupon Campaign. Many applicants sent in videos saying why they should be chosen to be the Groupawn. This was such a risky campaign that Groupon even announced that people shouldn’t apply for this because it may be dangerous, but the $100,000 prize given at the end of the year kept people interested.
Josh Stevens was the lucky, or unlucky, winner of the campaign. Groupon took away all of his belongings including his credit cards, and even confiscated his apartment, and only left him with a suit made of groupons, a laptop, a mobile phone, and a camera. During his year long adventure Josh was only able to use Groupons as his only type of currency. This meant from meals and activities, to hotel accommodations and travel arrangements must all be paid for only using the Groupons he was given.
“The beauty of the ‘Live Off Groupon’ marketing program is the fact that every single time Josh uses a Groupon he has to explain what it is and how the website works,” said Julie Mossler, Groupon’s spokeswoman. “So if you think about it, every time he want to have a meal or trade a Groupon so he has somewhere to sleep, he has to explain how the site works and the ins and outs of Groupon.”
The idea of this campaign was to reach out to non-believers or to people who have not heard of Groupon before. Stevens talked directly to potential customers and tweeted and blogged about his experiences to keep followers up to date. Along his journey he also did many interviews and appeared on the Today Show.
Before the campaign Groupon
had 66 markets
was used in 1 country
saved 190 million dollars
After the campaign Groupon
has 500+ markets
is used in 46 countries
has saved 2 billion dollars
has 12,000 fans on Live Off Groupon fan page, growing by hundreds weekly
has 2,200 Twitter Followers
“[This] helped get them some press but, more importantly, [it] helped increase their brand’s personality [of being] fun, creative, and current,” said presentation/communication specialist Constance Dunn. “Gimmicky promotions, the more out-there the better, are excellent and cost-effective ways to increase awareness. But always make sure the gist of the contest squares with your brand.”
Throughout his journey, Stevens received a ton of support from fans following him on his blog, and the campaign attracted many to become Groupon members.