retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Speaking of everyday crazy stories...

It never occurred to me that what the world really needed was a case in which one could carry a single banana, to prevent it from being bruised. And it also never occurred to me that such a case would need to be ribbed and flexible in the middle, so it could handle bananas of various sizes and those bent in different directions.

Well, that's what separates me from the folks at Banana Bunker, where they not only saw the need for such a product, but actually manufactured one ... and put it on Groupon for sale. You can see that Groupon page below.

The problem was that the picture of the Banana Bunker resembled another kind of product. A more, shall we say, intimate product.

Not only did the Banana Bunker sell out, but it also prompted an eruption on Groupon's Facebook page, eliciting more than 12,000 comments, 18,000 Likes and 43,000 shares.

Many of those comments were suggestive, salacious and sexual in nature. Also very funny ... and Groupon was smart enough to go with the joke, responding to hundreds of the comments with a kind of feigned innocence punctuated by a wink, reportedly leaving it to the company's social media team, which was young and hip enough to make it all work. (I can only think that these social media folks must be fun to hang out with. It seems like a pretty good bet that at least one of them has spent time at Second City.)

It is a great lesson in social media engagement ... you have to be willing to go with the moment, be all in, and have a sense of both context and humor.

In Groupon's case ... it is an Eye-Opener. And definitely not an April Fool's joke.

KC's View: