How Groupon Tapped Reality Television for PR


Groupon has done a lot of unusual things to grab headlines , such as releasing controversial Superbowl ads or launching a dating service to instigate Generation Groupon.

But getting humor writer/editor Daniel Kibblesmith onto the fifth season of The Millionaire Matchmaker demonstrates the group-buying site is as unceasingly resilient in using its savvy to generate interest in its company.

"It came from a really honest place," said Groupon's PR guru Julie Mossler who suggested Kibblesmith for the show. "We knew it would come with some free publicity, but this was about getting him on the show and getting him a girlfriend."

Kibblesmith's  episode hasn't aired yet, so there's no telling whether it was a success on the latter front, but it'll certainly generate interest with the Bravo show's audience in group-buying.

Kibblesmith said he's aware his appearance will double as free publicity for Groupon, but that wasn't the deciding factor in going on the show.

"I assumed I was [picked] because I was the strongest person at Groupon, but we haven't actually confirmed that yet." he joked. "They didn't want anyone too intimidating, but I know they were looking at stuff like height."

Millioniare Matchmaker's host Patti Stanger describes her show as being for "millionaire men looking for the supermodel look, with a master's education, who doesn't work, but has money in the bank." Kibblesmith doesn't seem to fit the mold of the average millionaire and he apologized  that his star turn may "ruin" longtime fans' opinion of the series. But he is a millionaire.

To that point, no, not everyone who works at Groupon for three years is uber-wealthy.

"The reality of this is that he was one of the handful of the very first employees at Groupon," explains Mossler. "Aside from very, very early employees and management -- those are the folks who have equity."

Or as Kibblesmith put it coyly, "That's exactly the kind of stuff I can't talk about, but I'm on the show ... you know what I mean?"

Whether Kibblesmith finds true love or not, it'll certainly help raise awareness of Groupon all that much more. 

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