A Halloween Treat from The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Groupon

What better way to celebrate Halloween week than with a good old-fashioned costume contest? The Ellen DeGeneres Show agreed, so we teamed up this past Tuesday to surprise Chicago fans and followers with some festive fun.

Throughout the day, @TheEllenShow slowly teased out the details – Gear up in your best costume and head down to the city’s famous NBC 5 plaza to get in on the action. Once there, the costumed crowd was thrilled to learn that the contest was part of a pop-up The Ellen DeGeneres Show taping. Adding to the excitement, favorite correspondent Jeannie was on hand to host after spending the day exploring the best of Chicago (her hometown!) with the power of Groupon Now!

From an old-school Super Mario to a set of cheerleaders and even a Ke$ha – Chicago brought their creativity to the table and Ellen was truly impressed. Fans cheered along as costumes were judged and five winners were awarded with some major candy corn funding – from $500 to $5,000 – courtesy of Groupon! Check out these fun pics of the action, and be sure to tune in to The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s latest episode featuring Groupon Now! here.

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Haunted Week

Groupon Getaways with Expedia showcases inspired travel options highlighting famously haunted hotels and local experiences.

If there’s any holiday that is most associated with adventure, candy, and duct tape, Halloween is right up there with Arbor Day. With so many choices regarding costumes and tricks vs. treats, Groupon Getaways with Expedia is offering a chance to escape from all those weighty decisions. For the first-ever themed promotion, Haunted Week celebrates the nation’s most infamous haunted travel destinations and local activities.

The travel experts have scoured the country to curate a bonus collection of Haunted Getaways from the spookiest travel destinations nationwide. Some featured deals include:

  • An evening stay and historic ghost tour experience at the hotel that inspired The Shining, The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado
  • Two nights at Stowe, Vermont’s Green Mountain Inn, a hotel widely known for its permanent ghost in residence, Boots
  • A two-night stay at The Lucerne Inn, a legendary haunted bungalow nestled in New England and surrounded by mysterious area attractions

For everyday ghost hunters and travelers looking for a thrill, Haunted Week provides the first step in planning the next travel adventure.

To learn more about the travel options by Groupon Getaways with Expedia, visit http://www.groupon.com/getaways to browse deals and subscribe to weekly emails.

Featured Merchant: Valenti Sports

With an exciting World Series drawing to a close and the NFL season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to introduce Joe Valenti of Valenti Sports in Rochester, NY as this week’s Featured Merchant.

After not spending a dime on advertising for Valenti Sports for more than 10 years, Joe was uncertain about running a Groupon deal to say the least. Click through to read Joe’s full story.

 

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Behind the Deals: Groupon’s Most Requested Features

At Groupon, we’re constantly adding new features, such as Groupon Now! and mobile redemption to make our customers’ lives easier and more fun. Here’s a look at the most-requested features our engineers are currently working on:

  • Dog-navigable mobile site for iPad
  • Printable Groupon voucher that tastes like the restaurant it’s for
  • If our website is down for any reason, we automatically mail you a hammock
  • Groupon Diamond: Only offers you deals for businesses owned by Lou Diamond Phillips
  • More-cluttered website design with numerous banner advertisements asking, “R U Lonely 2 Nite?”
  • An option for wealthy people to pay twice a product or service’s value instead of half
  • Customizable Groupon homepage that can be changed from its default green color to chartreuse, lime, or asparagus
  • Someone from Groupon comes to your house to tell you you look handsome
  • A Groupon that lets you rent a briefcase full of money for an afternoon
  • Finally, someone special to actually use these Groupons with

Groupon App Available for BlackBerry and PlayBook

Until we’re able to broadcast the Internet directly into our REM cycle, we have to first spread our reach to additional mobile devices. That being said, we’re happy to announce that the Groupon app is now available for BlackBerry® smartphones and BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablets, making it even easier for customers to access the best daily deals, access Groupon Now!, manage an account, or redeem Groupons on the go.

Offering a seamless buying and redemption process for consumers, Groupon apps for BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets allow you to:

  • Browse daily deals, Groupon Now! deals, you can view and purchase deals from the city you are in
  • Access your account and sign in to your existing Groupon account to find and organize your library of previous purchases. You can also sign up for a new Groupon account directly through the app
  • Redeem your Groupons by presenting Groupons to merchants directly from your BlackBerry smartphone or PlayBook screen – no printouts required!
  • Map and sort local Groupons in real-time: you can activate the GPS feature to plot Groupon purchases closest to your current location in addition to sorting Groupons by expiration and purchase date
  • Tell your friends about the exciting deals you found by sharing Groupons with your friends through BBM™!

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An Interview with Umphrey's McGee

Last week, Groupon and Jimmy Chamberlin kicked off their Chicago arts collaboration event series with an intimate Umphrey’s McGee show at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall. Even with powerful rain and wind cutting out the power on the entire city block the night of the concert, Umphrey’s McGee performed an incredible acoustic show in front of their loyal fans. We were impressed at the quick thinking, dedication, and ability to nimbly play guitar solos in a dimly lit room. Other than a carefully constructed set of gears and pulleys, we wanted to find out what makes these musicians tick. Groupon sat down with the band to find out a bit more about them.

 

Click through to see a few more images from the event or check out the Facebook page:

Braving the Elements

Today, a guest post from Jeremy Frazier. A Groupon employee, Umphrey’s McGee enthusiast, and creator to Chicago Jam Scene.Com, Jeremy set his phasers to “ultimate-fan” and reviewed the band’s recent performance at Lincoln Hall in Chicago.

Endearing yourself to your hometown faithful is always a smart move. And Groupon knocked the premiere of their Groupon events series out of the park when they chose Umphrey’s McGee to play here in Chicago. Umphrey’s is arguably the closest thing to Chicago’s band, having lived in the city and held down legendary New Year’s Eve runs for the past decade. Putting them in a pristine and intimate venue like Lincoln Hall to play in front of a relatively small 500-person crowd was bound to be a special occasion. But when nature intervened in a disastrous way and Chicago was ransacked with rainstorms complete with 50 mph winds, this show was transformed into one that will forever be remembered in Umphrey’s lore.

Photo by Jeremy Frazier

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G-Team Partners with The Cure Starts Now

Today’s the last day to donate to our national G-Team campaign that partners with The Cure Starts Now. The charity helps find a cure for pediatric brain cancer through fundraising and awareness efforts. It also provides services like “Monkey in My Chair” which helps children afflicted with the condition, their classmates, and teachers cope with cancer in a fun and creative way.

The key to this program is the “Monkey Kit,” an innovative, informative, and smile-inducing idea. It’s sometimes hard for children to explain their absences during treatment to their peers, so The Cure’s “Monkey in My Chair” program helps ease the transition. The kit contains a large stuffed monkey to sit in the child’s seat while they are out of school and a smaller monkey for the child to keep as a reminder that his or her place is being held. Educational material is provided to the students at school and children at home are able to send online messages (Monkey Messages) back to their classmates.

In addition to funds raised in this G-Team campaign, Chiquita will also match each donation up to $25,000. Keith Desserich, Chairman and Founder of The Cure Starts Now Foundation said:

Helping thousands of children nationwide every year, the ‘Monkey In My Chair’ program is often the only connection children undergoing cancer treatment have with their friends back at school. We’re honored to have both Groupon and Chiquita help us touch thousands of children and raise funds for such an important cause.

We appreciate everyone’s support thus far during this campaign and encourage you to spread the word on this final day of fundraising!

Groupon Continues Events Series

Groupon and Jimmy Chamberlin Announce Arts Collaboration Series
Showcase debuts with exclusive Umphrey’s McGee concert

Thanks again to everyone for attending the movie night at Wrigley Field! We hope you enjoyed bundling up like caterpillars and snuggling up close to loved ones (or kind strangers) while watching the 25th anniversary of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” With your help, we also broke the world record for the most people singing a song in a round.

If you weren’t able to attend, memories were captured in a smaller aspect ratio for you:

To see more images from the screening, visit our Chicago Facebook page!

To continue this event series, Groupon and former Smashing Pumpkins drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, announce an events collaboration celebrating local culture and entertainment. This program will create unique consumer events that celebrate the local scene – from concerts with fresh new bands, to fashion shows by emerging designers, to one-of-a-kind events at iconic venues.
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