Red Lobster sales spike thanks to Beyoncé lyric
Sales at Red Lobster spiked over the weekend following the release of Queen Bey’s surprise new single “Formation” in which the seafood restaurant was given a shout-out in a song widely described as a political anthem for African-Americans.
Beyoncé gave the US seafood chain a surprise endorsement by naming it in an off-color lyric about sex -- the kind of publicity most marketing campaigns just can’t buy. Weekend sales across the chain spiked 33 percent on Super Bowl Sunday compared to the same period last year, said CEO Kim Lopdrup in an interview with CNBC, a boost the company describes as the “Beyonce Bounce.”
Employees are also capitalizing on the unexpected publicity windfall by renaming the menu’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits to Cheddar “Bey” Biscuits and their Bay Breeze drinks “Bey Breezes."
Beyoncé surprised the world by dropping the video rich in political imagery on Saturday -- the eve of her Super Bowl performance. And while fans were quick to pick up on the Red Lobster reference immediately after the single dropped, the restaurant chain, was not.
Over the weekend, the brand was skewered on social media for not responding fast enough to the shout-out: it took more than eight hours before the chain woke up to the marketing opportunity, which, on Twitter, is a lifetime. "You missed such an opportunity here, @redlobster. You could have done so much more," read one tweet. "Fire ur agency. Then fire everyone who hired them," reads another.
The situation didn’t get any better when the best response they could come up with was “"Cheddar Bey Biscuits" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?" widely ridiculed for being embarrassingly unfunny and unoriginal. “yall had hours and this is what yall come up with?” Tweeted one user, who attached an amusing gif of men shaking their heads in disapproval.
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