Thanks to John Eckman over at social commerce software specialists Optaros for the heads up on the latest on the social commerce platform Groupon’s ‘Kenneth Cole moment‘ at the Super Bowl last weekend with its controversial ads (e.g. celebrity Cuba Gooding, Jr. suggesting whale watching is more fun than saving whales – especially when there’s a Groupon deal).

Today, Groupon is running a group-buy deal – donate to GreenPeace to end commercial whaling and get a Groupon credit for the donated value. GreenPeace emailed their followers in support of Groupon, its ad, and the deal…

Hi Greenpeace Supporter,

If you were watching the Super Bowl the other night (or at least tuning in for the always entertaining commercials) you may have seen a commercial starring Cuba Gooding Jr. about saving the whales.

It was a pretty tongue-in-cheek message about over-the-top celebrity cause advertising, which is what the sponsors of the commercial, Groupon, were going for. Since they started out as a collective action and philanthropy site, they loved the idea of poking fun at themselves by talking about discounts as a noble cause.

The commercial was part of a Groupon campaign called “Save the Money.” Greenpeace is happily participating in the campaign. The truth is that the “Save the Money” campaign and the commercial are really helping us save the whales.

Cynics will say this is damage limitation.  We say, Smart move Groupon. Kudos.

In social commerce, actions speak louder than ads. That’s what we like about social commerce – it’s about action not talk, about pushing the buy button not the hype button.

But when actions line up with ads in a creative way, to ignite conversations – the lifeblood of social commerce – then that’s smart social business.

Groupon is also running deals for Rainforest Action NetworkBuildOn (from forthcoming Sheryl Crow ad), and the Tibet Fund.

Oh, and if you are interested in the specific actions companies are taking to double revenues using social commerce and other new retail concepts, check out the latest free white paper from Optaros.