Absurdist Marketing

Many things seem absurd to a dinosaur. At first glance, my recent fascination with Groupon may seem rooted in the groundswell of coupon-based savings, a concept your father took to the bank on odd Thursdays when you were small. As you grew and developed, your mother became the driving force as she struggled to maintain the family's financial equilibrium in a world gone mad, especially during rush hour. While the hand signals she used to indicate lane changes hardly resemble the hyperventilated expressions of rage you and I have come to recognize as omens of small-arms fire, your mother's ideas about coupons remain fundamentally similar to her own, and those of your father's banker.

At second glance, my recent fascination with Groupon's irrational Guide is rooted in the groundswell of delirium that now seems poised to seep out among the fissures and cracks of a marketing strategy gone terribly rogue. Where once the words of our fathers drove us toward the clouded horizons of habituated advertising, this brave new wordplay carries the odor of a more promising tomorrow. Where have all the flowers gone? To the suburbs, maybe, and therein lies the rubber torn from the treads of your mother's smoldering tires.

I am proud—so very swollen—to have been alive to witness this renaissance. I said it once and I'll write it again: Invoking the evocative may be 98.6° of the battle, but sometimes you just have to glue multicolored mirrors on Carl Sandburg's hobnail boots.


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