Red Robin ad doesn't go down well with vegetarians
A commercial aiming to show how the burger chain can cater to them backfires badly.
The best-laid plains of mice and men often go astray, and apparently that's also true for burger chains.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) wanted to tout its wide range of burger options --- including a veggie burger -- with a new ad, but instead the company has ended up with egg on its face.
The commercial won't be on the air much longer, the Huffington Post reports, after a spokesman noted that the spot is being phased out of rotation "very soon."
The commercial features an actress dressed as a Red Robin server, gushing about the chain's 24 types of burgers. In a snarky voice, she adds, "We even have a garden burger just in case your teenage daughter is going through a phase."
That's not going down well with some vegetarians, who have taken to Red Robin's Facebook page to complain about characterizing the diet as a "phase."
One customer wrote: "My family used to eat at Red Robin. Fortunately, it was just a phase."
A photo on the chain's Facebook page depicts a little girl sitting underneath a framed picture of Albert Einstein at one of its locations, prompting another commenter to write, "Einstein was a vegetarian -- guess he didn't hear that he was a teenage girl going through a phase!"
Of course, Red Robin could attribute the backlash to the sensitive feelings of vegetarians, a group that's pegged at 3.2% of U.S. adults. Perhaps because they're such a small minority, vegetarians are lucky if a restaurant offers one meat-free entree.
But the bigger issue for Red Robin and other advertisers is how campaigns can often go astray by trying to be hip or funny.
Other recent failures include Durex condoms' social media push asking Facebook fans to vote on which city should receive a rush delivery. Internet wags voted for the town of Batman, in a conservative Muslim province in Turkey. Durex's misstep could have been avoided if the company had offered a multiple-choice option with preselected cities.
Similarly, Red Robin probably should have taken a few minutes to think about its message, which ended up alienating the very consumers it had hoped to attract to its veggie burgers.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
Excuse me? Isn't the FIRST thing you think of when YOU hear the word burger: MEAT?
Oh, yeah, I've known a number of vegetarians, and only about 5% had a sense of humor, let alone a sense of tolerance.
The only thing worse than a smoker who has just quit, is a person who has just turned vegetarian.
Neither one can SHUT UP about it, and both talk about it incessantly.
And you always get a "holier than thou, I'm better than you" vibe from them, like THEY'RE superior
Get a life veggies.
Honestly, I have no problem with vegetarians. As long as they are cooked properly.
The sub-headline in this story says the ad 'backfires badly'. Then the second sentence in the article says their stock price is up 1.27%.
The person who wrote it must be a vegan...
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