The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace Writer

NEW YORK ( InvestorPlace) -- In Groupon's ( GRPN - Get Report) prospectus, the company's quirky CEO, Andrew Mason, wrote: "We are unusual and we like it that way. We want the time people spend with Groupon to be memorable."

Well, there's little doubt that he committed to this, and to date, his approach has worked, growing the daily deals site into a $12 billion market-cap company.
  • Also see: Could a good economy actually hurt Groupon?
  • But it's latest stab at "unusual" might have gone overboard. Groupon's newest marketing gimmick is called Clicky. To use it, you sign in via your Facebook account, then spin a wheel in hopes of getting some cool discounts, with a max of $100.

    But this is not some classy "Wheel of Fortune" design. Instead, Clicky looks like something from the ghoulish imagination of Stephen King.
  • Also see: An IPO for the mobile advertising revolution
  • I'm not a marketing guru, but this definitely seems like a counterintuitive approach. Is it possible to get new customers by scaring them or grossing them out?

    Maybe Groupon knows better than I do.Or maybe -- given that Groupon has been showing signs of a slowdown, as I recently pointed out -- Clicky is just a reflection of its scary stock.

  • Also see: Pandora revs its engines
  • Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of All About Short Selling and All About Commodities. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.

    Also see:
  • Get the latest IPO date and IPO offering news for the hottest picks on Wall Street
  • Mercedes takes Facebook for a test drive
  • Facebook makes another IPO move
  • This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.