Groupon’s taking the most main of all mainstream plunges: a Super Bowl ad. The daily deals site will shell out an estimated $3 million for some commercial time this Sunday and potentially, officially establish itself as the local coupon courier to rule them all.
The company has been living the start up dream. It’s collaborated with local vendors and earned their trust while also branching out internationally, all while driving its valuation up as high as $15 billion. Groupon notoriously backed away from a Google acquisition as well, aiding the company’s financial worth and growth prospects. However, the market for location-meets-coupon is only getting more crowded.
LivingSocial has had a stellar month (largely thanks to its Amazon deal), adding five million subscribers in January, putting it behind Groupon by 30 million. The company itself is also growing by six new employees a day. And not to be outdone, it will also air a Super Bowl ad, only it will fall in the less prestigious pre-game space. However, the company’s VP of marketing Camille Watson says to expect an impressive commercial to air during the Academy Awards later this month.
There’s also the matter of new competitors coming out of the wood work. The success of Groupon and LivingSocial is only motivating geo-social sites like Yelp and Facebook Places to forging their own relationships with local vendors. And of course, by rejecting Google’s acquisition offer, Groupon earned itself one more rival: The Internet titan is all steam ahead on its own coupon and deals feature.
Now competition within this industry has gotten so fierce that advertising departments are pulling out the big guns with Superbowl ads. It’s an unprecedented move for social media sites, and could very well up the ante for this market that has gotten very crowded very quickly.