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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Random Sun Sep 19 2010

Sarcasm & Strangeness in Groupon Copy

One of the things that makes Groupon's deals of the day stand out from the increasingly large pack is the copywriting. They're very good at making their deals and the businesses they're good for sound really awesome. But occasionally their efforts fall flat -- or at least miss the mark. For instance, this Sunday's offer for Cousin's Incredible Vitality:

Cousin's features an impressive, Mediterranean-inspired menu consisting of raw, vegan dishes made with fresh ingredients from local farmers, as well as a delicious juice bar that mixes up health elixirs. Fill your raw stomach with the uncooked, uncanny flavors of the house-special falafel wrap, a medley of pistachio falafels, greens, onions, sprouts, tomatoes, and ginger-tahini dressing, all wrapped in a collard-green skirt ($12). Explore the menu's more excitingly named dishes such as the soup of the day! ($3) and the juicy sprout avalanche, a sprout salad tossed with spices, nama shoyu, and olive oil and doused in homemade hummus ($6). Lunchers can boost their longevity with an E3 live shot--a green shot of 64 vitamins, minerals, Father Time's tears, and enzymes ($2-$3).

"Uncanny" flavors? I don't know about you, but I don't want my falafel with a side of cognitive dissonance -- let alone do I want to fill my "raw stomach" with it. In fact, if my stomach feels raw, I'd probably only want some white rice or some broth. The "soup of the day!" is one of the more excitingly named dishes? A salad "doused" in hummus sounds like an unappealing, soggy mess, and "Father Time's tears" doesn't sound like a good thing (and it's nearly a googlebomb.)

Overall, whoever wrote this sounds like he or she isn't a fan of Cousin's, or at least is rather skeptical of the raw food concept. I can't recall another Groupon deal that came off as derisive or incredulous like this one.

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LaShawn Williams / September 19, 2010 7:55 PM

Incredulous, indeed! Whew!!

Artj / September 20, 2010 8:21 AM

There's more! Under "details". Something like avoid the danger of cooked foods, seared tongues, dangerous grills and so on. It seems like the writer here is doing what might be called, "taking the piss." Last I checked there were over 1000 coupons sold.

John / September 20, 2010 2:01 PM

Does anyone know how I can get an invite to Groupon's rewards program?

Andie / September 20, 2010 2:15 PM

I find Groupon's copywriting to be the least compelling part of its entire operation. Skip the description, read the linked reviews if you must.

Contus / September 23, 2010 5:20 AM

Anyone know how I can get an invitation to the award program Groupon?

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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