Spin for Extra Discounts with Groupon’s Creepy New Gimmick, ‘Clicky’

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The new game/marketing promotion from Groupon is called Clicky. That rhymes with “icky,” an apt description of the “Clickable-Value Wheel” that looks like a carnival game of chance, only with a human mouth and eyes, producing a frog-like face reminiscent of the Star Wars character everybody loves to hate, Jar-Jar Binks. Clicky is also creepy because to play, you must open up your Facebook account to Groupon.

That’s Clicky in the image above. The eyes staring out are unnerving enough. But what puts the wheel over the top in terms of creepiness is the mouth. It’s not just the presence of the mouth that’s weird. The mouth itself is odd. It’s not smiling—not even a little. Then you realize: The mouth is upside down!

How strange. A sad evil cyborg salamander clown face. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Now you’re ready to spin away and win a prize, right?

According to Groupon’s official press release, even Groupon isn’t pretending to expect Clicky to be a runaway success:

Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel, is one of several potential marketing instruments Groupon has and will continue to test over time, some of which will be successful while others will not.

(MORE: Groupon Remorse? Most Merchants Won’t Run Daily Deals Over Next Six Months)

To those willing to risk being haunted nightly by the vision of Clicky’s creepy face, spinning the wheel first requires the player to sign in at Facebook. All users can spin once per day, for the chance to win discounts of $5 to $100 off various Groupon offers. By “liking” Clicky on Facebook, though, users get five additional bonus spins.

To recap: Clicky’s face? Creepy. The requirement to play while logged into Facebook? Creepy. The offer of extra spins for “liking” the creepy game on Facebook? Yet more creepiness.

And how about the odds of winning valuable prizes? A tongue-in-cheek Groupon blog post admits that Clicky really isn’t the best thing since sliced bread—or daily deals, for that matter:

We want to let users know that the chances of winning are slim, but not impossible. … Since spinning is moderately enjoyable, every user of Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel is a winner – metaphorically. Literally, most people will not win anything.

The Chicago Tribune says that the game’s odds favor Groupon:

Your chances of winning $100 is one in 100,000; $50 is 1 in 10,000; $10 is 1 in 100; $5 is 1 in 20.

(MORE: How Coupons Became Cool)

Even if you win, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually want the daily deal tied to the additional discount. So the odds of truly winning are even less than what’s listed above.

As for Groupon, which is rolling out Clicky to get attention and finagle its way into users’ Facebook accounts, this looks to be a win-win.

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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