Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Memo: Deal Chicken 'is not just a copycat'

Matt Rountree, marketing communications manager at The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., yesterday sent the following memo to employees concerning the August launch of Deal Chicken, Gannett's answer to online coupon sites Groupon and Living Social. A Gannett Blogger forwarded a copy to me at jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com].


In August, 2011, we will launch the Louisville version of Deal Chicken, a daily deals site similar to Groupon and Living Social.

For users: This product will provide deeply-discounted deals for local services selected with the product’s audience in mind. While these deals will save users money, this is not a coupons site. The deep discounts are the incentive to try new merchants and new services, giving users a guide to the best things in town.

While we believe that there is room for a third major player behind Groupon and Living Social in our market, the new product is not just a copycat. It will be different from Groupon, Living Social and their many clones in several significant ways:
  • Association with Courier-Journal Media will boost the product’s credibility with both users and merchants.
  • Deal selection will be done locally, giving each site a local flavor.
  • It will offer a loyalty program to reward its best customers.    
What can you do to help?  
As part of our marketing and communications plan, we must build our email database. That said, I am asking that each of you sign up for this free service at http://register.dealchicken.com/1107CJ . Also, please take the information below and post to your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc). To be successful, a robust database of users is necessary.   

  • Save 50-90% with Deal Chicken, hatching soon in Louisville. Sign up to make sure you get the first (and best!) daily deals. http://register.dealchicken.com/1107CJ/facebook         
  • Cluck Cluck. We will soon be launching DealChicken, the best daily deals web site in Louisville. Save 50-90% on everything from spa packages to hotel stays, restaurants and more. Register now so you don't miss out on the opportunity to save big bucks! http://register.dealchicken.com/1107CJ/facebook
  • We are gearing up for the launch of Deal Chicken, Louisville’s best place to save money. Sign up now to get one amazing deal each day, delivered straight to your email inbox. Save 50-90% at great restaurants, hotels, golf, skydiving, kayaking, you name it! http://register.dealchicken.com/1107CJ/facebook
  • Have you registered for Deal Chicken yet? It's hatching soon in Louisville! We will be bringing you the best local deals starting this summer but you have to register first! :-) http://register.dealchicken.com/1107CJ/facebook   
Thank you for your help . . . Deal Chicken will hatch in August.


  1. Why aren't we telling people the Chicken is All Within Reach?

  2. I think it's C H I C K E N.

  3. So they want employees to advertise their new site for free to their friends and family. Hmmmm, wonder if they would advertise on their Facebook and Twitter for free if someone asked. I know plenty of companies that would like their widgets promoted for free on the local medias Facebook page.

  4. At least the CJ is making an announcement and asking for employee input. Great idea, whoever came up with it, but will they now listen. My personal view is that Deal Chicken is incompatible with traditional newspaper advertising, and adding this to the mix only pisses off the most successful ad salesmen. Listen to those who went through this experience in Pheonix, and you will clearly see the trade-offs.

  5. I heard regular reps will NOT sell it. They will help with initial launch and then there will be a DC staff that reports to corporate.

    Without a doubt there will be national buys like we see on the websites. Aren't all the sites sprinkled with awesome popups from corporate?

  6. I see why the regular reps don't like it. It's a one-off meaning that its really not that difficult to sell these deals. But once a business does this it involves so much work they don't want to do it again for a long time. So there's no return customer. How many restaurants are there out there that would go along with these sort of deals. Well, it's a bottomless pit, but pretty soon you are scraping the bottom of the barrel as the word gets around of the negatives involved. The regular reps make their living from happy, contented return customers and the business relationships they have built up, not one-off deals.

  7. LOL, this is like asking every employee to go patronize a prized advertiser regardless of whether you need what's being sold.

    I have a better idea, Matt: Why don't you sign up all your family and friends, and let us know how it goes?

  8. 7:57 That doesn't make any sense to me. How can a national staff located elsewhere sell ads locally?

  9. Not a knock-off? To paraphrase (with apologies to ducks everywhere):

    If it looks like a chicken, talks like a chicken and clucks like a chicken.....

  10. Sorry, but there's no way in hell I'd post any of that to my friends, especially with typos such as this.

    •50-90% Deals Hatching soon in Louisville! Join us & our peeps (sorry, dont bawk at the puns)

    dont? Seriously? I still have a sliver of pride left.

  11. All I know is Deal Chicken is doing great in Phoenix. Regular ad salespeople do not sell in to it. It is making serious money and they get some great deals from businesses that would not otherwise advertise. The name is one that people remember. Don't know where all of this Chicken Hate is coming from.

  12. 10:14 I love chicken. Have it for dinner every chance I can. That's not the issue. The issue is what happened to all those retail ads that Phoenix used to carry but now seem noticeably missing?

  13. If we start telling people the C H I C K E N is "within reach" corporate is afraid we'll reach around and choke the C H I C K E N. That would violate corporate policy, only Dubow and Martore are allowed to choke the C H I C K E N on company time.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. DealChicken not a copy-cat of Groupon? Seriously!!!????

    Same whore...different dress!!!

  16. The "local" deals will be sold by corporate reps at each site. It's corporate with it's chicken vs. Local with site, papers and Yahoo.

  17. There is no way in hell I will help this company by posting this website on my facebook account. I will not even tell my friends about it. If they are interested they will find it themselves. Give me back the money you have taken away this year by way of furloughs and no raises and I might reconsider. Good luck with this.

  18. 12:23 p.m. - You're sooo awesome! Couldn't agree more! Amazing: again it's the employee that should help them pull it all off! Of course, free of charge.

    Advertisement for free and on top of it the labor is free, too! Can it get any lower???? And as an incentive Gannett gives the employee another furlough or pay freeze! To hell with them!

  19. This is right up there with use your own cell phones, pay for your own internet. Now Gannett wants us whoring the product through our personal social networks. These are the same people who get company-issued phones, company-paid internet at home, etc. Geez.

  20. For the life of me, I can't get out of my head what a poster said earlier: "It looks like Dead Chicken on my small screen." And it does!

  21. Hey, Dickey: Take a look at today's deal on the Phoenix site: "$99 2 Rounds of Golf & Red Rock Card at Sedona Golf Resort ($239 Value)." It's a beautiful course, and perfect for a relaxing trip. So why not sign up, go out and see what is going on in Phoenix, and do some golf on the real cheap. I think you will find out what these comments above are all about if you did that.

  22. 12:23 PM, 3:45 PM and 3:50 PM
    And buy Groupon! Not Chicken shit.

  23. Scathing report of GroupOn ... so the competition may not be all its cracked up to be. Unfortunately, a small business probably won't sign up for multiple discount sites. So this competition is real until people realize how wrong the business model is.


  24. That was an interesting read about Groupon. Does the Funky Chicken work on the same premise and margins?

  25. Jim, you are getting very good at SEO via content. Everytime Deal Chicken is mentioned on the blog, I see a bunch of Living Social ads.

  26. Here's the Deal Chicken deal:

    Merchants pay nothing upfront to participate in a daily deal. Deal Chicken and the merchant split the revenue generated from sales of redeemable certificates.

    Deal Chicken handles all of the e-commerce and credit card processing in exchange for a 2.5%
    processing fee. Merchant receives 50% of total sales minus the 2.5% processing fee.

    Deal Chicken pays its merchants within 30 days of sale – 30% within five business days and
    remaining 70% within 30 days of sale date.

  27. Please, oh, please share this to all your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

    What? You were on Facebook on company time? YOU'RE FIRED!

  28. So we want them to offer 50-90 OFF and then they keep less than half that? Sounds great! $50 salon certificate sells for $25 but they get less than $12.50. Sounds like a winner.


  29. It's a loss leader to drive traffic, building life-long customer relationships. That's the idea.

    In reality, any retailer who offers coupons and tracks the total receipt can tell you that many redemptions are for the coupon only. Maybe you do get a couple long-term customers or big sales - it's all part of the calculus of whether the coupon is 'worth it'.

    What's somewhat sad is that if we would have spent effort getting them to put good 50% off coupons in the paper vs. the lousy 10% deals they offered 'for years', the advertisers would have seen a LOT more traffic than this opt-in, email alert DealChicken will give them.

  30. Man... glad I don't work at Gannett! :)

  31. We have seen the Deal Chicken down here in Jackson, MS and they seem to have some good deals. We even post some. When are they going to get an affiliate program? Will they? We have some of these deals here at Green Leaf Coupons Jackson, MS

  32. I rarely comment, however i did some searching and wound up here "Memo: Deal Chicken 'is not just a copycat'".

    And I do have a couple of questions for you if
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    have to post. Could you list of every one of your social pages
    like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?
    My website: Banja Vrujci


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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