I was just reading in The New York Times about Red Lobster’s new ad campaign. The campaign idea “Sea food differently,” is a little off-piste and perhaps a bit too creative. The ads introduces a new logo with some locked-up words “Fresh Fish, Live Lobster” which is nice. But the good news is, the traditional Red Lobster advertising that everyone can play back in their sleep — the big lemon squirt over a lobster tail and some superimposed pricing — will be replaced by ads with real people (people test well) talking about Alaska’s cold waters or oak used for grilling.
This is a no brainer improvement for the work out of Grey, NY. Advertising is all about claim and proof. The lemon squirt work was “we’re here” retail advertising at its best, which isn’t saying too much. The new work has a strategy. If advertising is about claim and proof, branding is about claim and delimited, organized proof. My take on the new brand plan for Red Lobster is that the proof planks are roughly: fresh fish, grilling, and lobster.
Stuart Elliot’s article spends a lot of time talking about the people in the ads, but the reason the ads will work is not because of the fisherman with the beard from Ahh-rass-kahhhh (Alaska), but the storied proof and pictures that demonstrate the strategy. People deliver the strategy, they aren’t the strategy.
Campaigns come and go but a powerful brand strategy is indelible. Sounds like Red Lobster has a tight brand strategy. I smell some sales! Good job Darden and Grey. Peace!