Red Lobster Crabfest commercial

Crabfest ads signal new Red Lobster focus

Seafood brand evolves marketing approach

Red Lobster this month unveiled new television ads for its Crabfest promotion with tweaks that signal an evolution in the brand’s two-year-old marketing approach. 

“When we launched the ‘Fresh’ campaign in 2015, we used new, modern food photography on a black background, and a new voiceover to capture craveabillity and the pure joy of eating seafood – and it worked really well,” Mark Gilley, Red Lobster’s senior vice president of marketing, said in an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News.

Gilley said competing brands have begun running ads with a similar structure, so the Orlando, Fla.-based seafood company swapped other audio techniques for an enhanced verbal commentary in its updated “Now This Is Seafood” campaign. 

“This unique approach uses a variety of techniques instead of a traditional voiceover,” Gilley said.

“These techniques include a soundtrack that orchestrates the sounds of the kitchen and restaurant, coupled with fast-paced, multi-frame visuals that show the food from preparation to plate,” he said. 

The brand declined to comment on when the Crabfest limited time offer will conclude but the rejuvenated presentation will be used on multiple campaigns for the foreseeable future. 


Red Lobster’s other large-scale promotions include Lobsterfest and Endless Shrimp.

The brand’s television commercials can also be found on YouTube and other social-media channels. 

Red Lobster ranked No. 31 in NRN’s annual Top 100 census, posting $24.2 billion in sales for the latest fiscal year. 

The company is owned by private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital, which bought it from Darden Restaurants Inc. in 2014. In 2016, Thai Union Group PCL purchased a $575 million minority stake in the brand. 

Red Lobster has more than 700 restaurants in the United States, Canada and abroad.

Contact: [email protected]

Twitter: @DanAMX

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