It is a Super Bowl tradition.
Marketer's and their agencies push the creative envelope to create "spectacle" during one of the biggest television advertising events of the year.
One year, Snicker's is critisized for a "gay kiss," but in another year, their lauded for their innovative campaign knocking 88-year old Betty White on her butt (and launching a resurgence of her career).
Yes, creativity can lead as often to success as it does negative controversy.
One man's funny is another's offense.
This year, Groupon's faux fundraiser, HomeAway's baby, CareerBuilder's monkey's and Pepsi's "Love Hurts" ad are being called-out as missing the mark.
Their ads sparked controversy as racist, abusive, incensitive, and child endangering.
In otherwords, "not as funny as they were intended to be."
Both Groupon and HomeAway have backed away from their efforts, with Groupon pulling its campaign, and HomeAway apologizing and revising its ads.
I think it is unfortunate that both brands backed away from their campaigns, which I feel were successful in being true to their brand reputation (and humor level) and effective in their communication.,,not to mention their ability to stretch the ad's media exposure by sparking controversy and community discussion.
Perhaps both brands should take a lesson from GoDaddy, who, despite the controversies it generates through its sexist and sexy ads, appears to grow in acceptance and stature with each campaign.