Absurd? Yes. Effective? Definitely.
Sometimes I think that Groupon’s copywriters are on drugs when they write. But who cares if they are? Groupon has a strong and consistent brand voice that differentiates it from other couponing sites, which is good.
One might argue that branding/copy isn’t as important here because customers are swayed by specific deals, not by the site offering the coupon. However, having a perspective and spurring conversation are crucial for encouraging virality.
There are many reasons why Groupon is successful, but part of it has to do with the “Groupon Says…” section where an overweight cat gives advice that doesn’t make sense.
Interestingly, the “Groupon Says…” section has hundreds of Facebook “Likes” for each deal of the day. Meanwhile, the actual deal often has only a fraction of “Likes."
This means that content that is unrelated to a coupon is generating a ton of brand awareness. Each time a person "Likes” something, their 500 closest friends see it on a status news feed. In web 2.0, it’s important to get people talking/sharing and Groupon is doing an excellent job at this.
Takeaway: Besides providing the product/service that all your competitors also provide, it is your duty as a brand to not bore customers. This makes your customers happy, strengthens your position in the user’s mind, and will make you more profitable in the long run.