Taking a page from the Olive Garden playbook, Red Lobster has embarked on a campaign to make people think of it as something more authentic and less off-putting than it actually is.
As The New York Times reports, the restaurant chain today unfurled “Sea Food Differently,” an ad campaign that introduces consumers to its seafood supplier and employees.
By using “real stories” from “real people” instead of the usual slow-motion shots of crustaceans being ripped apart, Red Lobster apparently hopes to convince us that it’s not a faceless corporation that disseminates jumbo coconut shrimp and lobster nachos across the country. Its attempts to convince customers of its “authenticity” also entail a new logo proclaiming “Fresh Fish, Live Lobster” and, like its corporate sibling Olive Garden (both are owned by Darden Restaurants), remodeling restaurants with a “New England motif” — which, from the looks of it, involves a lot of fieldstone.
“Authenticity,” of course, is a word beloved by marketers keen to appropriate the values and image of the artisanal food movement for their own purposes, which in this case is a “forced reappraisal” of a brand vulnerable to a bad economy. But at least they’re leaving the menstrual cycle out of it.
[Via Bon Appétit]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 25, 2011