Red Lobster’s Quality Play: From Fried to Wood-Fired

When foot traffic is the lifeblood of your business, as it is for any brand in the retail space, you have to keep investing in new creative, quarter after quarter. Darden, of course, knows all about it.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Red Lobster is kicking off an $8 million ad campaign next week that will tout its new “wood-fire grilling” method.
The new ads, which feature a chef grilling items like lobsters and scallops, mark a big change for the company. In the past, “we have been advertising fried shrimp, which doesn’t signal culinary expertise,” says Salli Setta, a Red Lobster marketing executive.
Still, the push could be a bit risky in the current downturn, because consumers may view wood grilling as a more expensive dining option. Ms. Setta counters that a better-quality menu is a good thing to have right now when “money is dear.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.