Groupon has launched a new kids site called Groupon Kidz Club with games and a really weird song. One character apparently doesn't love his parents, one hates stray dogs, one is some guy the kids "took in" after finding him on the beach with no recollection of his identity, and one is an escaped swarm of bees who are "attracted to the smell of school kids who like Groupon," and can form the shape of sharp stabbing weapons.
I've confirmed with my calendar that it is not April Fool's Day.
I made the mistake of listening to the song before I got to know the characters, which made it even weirder. A couple of lines:
"Email loves technology. Glasses needs glasses to see."
"The days are long, the nights are cold, when you're less than twelve years old. But when things get really rough, piles is just piles of stuff."
It started to make more sense once I realized the characters were being named. Well, sense may be as strong word.
There's a character named E-Male, one named Glasses and one named Pyles. There's also: Blade, FopTop, Roll, and Swarmy. As you can see, "Pyles" is just piles of stuff:
He also hates stray dogs, according to Groupon. Also notice that he has a cricket bat.
The character bios are fascinating. Glasses is "always wearing her signature glasses," which she got with a Groupon. Blade always has his ice skates. According to Groupon, he loves two things in this world. "my blades and the funtacular Kidz Deals at Groupon.com." Groupon says his parents are both dentists. Apparently that means he doesn't love them. I wonder how that sits with Groupon's dentist clients.
FopTop's description: "The kids found FopTop asleep on the beach and took him in. He doesn't remember who he is." That's the description straight from the site. Sounds like a good message to send to kids: take strangers you find on the beach home with you. Especially if they don't even know their own names. At least he has a sense of style:
Roll loves math, go-karts and hanging out on Groupon.com, according to his bio. "But most of all he loves his mom's croissants. When Roll grows up, he wants to be an astronaut or a game show cameraman."
E-Male has a rich stepdad who "loves Groupon and some other sites."
Just to reiterate..."some other sites."
Finally, Swarmy is a swarm of bees that escaped from a science factory (possibly killer bees?), and "is attracted to the smell of cool kids who like Groupon." He can apparently also form the shape of a sword.
Thea, on the Groupon blog, says, "At Groupon, we love kids. In fact, we love them so much that we wanted to give them a cool “zone” on the ‘Net where they can hang out with brand new 'cyber-frenz'!"
"Not only is there a designated zone for young minds, but parents can also peruse deals they think will best suit their offspring," says Thea.
The games section has one where kids can "help Roll get his croissant back," a brain scramble consisting of three mixed up words, and the following "Tips To Get Involved In Your Community:"
HELP elderly folks cross the first part of the street and then encourage them to get across the rest of the way on their own!
DON'T desecrate that statue even though you'd gain tons of street cred!
START a lemonade stand but immediately go "Out of Business" to draw attention to wealth-destroying minimum wage laws!
Groupon stock is down as of the time of this writing (13.54 -0.35 [-2.52%]). Granted, I don't think that can be attributed to the Kidz Club. There is that whole matter of the revised earnings.