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Old 06-20-2013, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
28,227 posts, read 47,661,386 times
Reputation: 19735

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A new ad from burger chain Red Robin meant to bring vegetarians through the door, but managed to offend them instead.

Rather than touting a veggie-friendly menu by highlighting the recently introduced garden burger, it dismissed the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle.



Read more: Red Robin ad for garden burger pulled off air - UPI.com
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:33 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,891 posts, read 8,681,478 times
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It is never smart to insult any part of your customer-base.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:31 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 36,496,486 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
It is never smart to insult any part of your customer-base.
I'm pretty sure they didn't intentionally insult anyone. If they were targetting their entire restaurants as a whole entity to their usual demographic - which is - meat-eaters...then it would've been a perfectly appropriate, and clever ad - since they wouldn't be trying to bring in vegetarians - but rather, offering an option for families who have a minority vegetarian member among them. That way, they would draw in a family who would normally BE a customer, but refrains because of one member (such as - a teenage daughter going through a phase).

If they were attempting to draw vegetarians into their restaurant, then it wasn't well thoughtout, and rather insensitive, and I agree that vegetarians might be insulted by the dismissal. But it's equally insulting to dismiss Red Robin, whose intentions weren't to insult at all, but they missed the mark with a growing minority demographic.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:58 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,891 posts, read 8,681,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
I'm pretty sure they didn't intentionally insult anyone.
It's ad agencies' jobs not to have their clients insult people by mistake, and honor dictates that the client apologizes when they do make mistakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
If they were targetting their entire restaurants as a whole entity to their usual demographic - which is - meat-eaters...then it would've been a perfectly appropriate, and clever ad
So you're saying that a restaurant that serves mostly white people would be "appropriate" in presenting a "clever" racially-biased advertisement?

Uh, no.

Disparaging humor is never appropriate, in any public circumstance, except self-deprecating humor. It fosters an environment where bigots think their bigotry is ratified, where bullies think their bullying is defensible, where the general tenor of society is tainted by negative assessments of others. People like to hide their antisocial attitudes behind humor, vacuously exhorting that other people need to "lighten up" - but what they're doing is simply trying to rationalize their own inexcusable behavior, their own positive experience at others' expense. If they have something negative to say about someone else, they should say it with honor, directly and clearly, acknowledging that the comment is serious just because it is a negative appraisal (along with any other reason there may be why it is serious). People, and surely companies, should not cravenly try to hide their prejudicial assessment behind humor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
since they wouldn't be trying to bring in vegetarians
They spent a significant portion of the commercial doing just that, trying to appeal to families that had a vegetarian within them. They simply did it wrong. They did it in a manner tainted by the tenor of disparagement of others that is the default, in our society today, as demonstrated so well by comments here on C-D. However, a commercial enterprise shouldn't be so careless as to adopt the casual rhetoric of a practically-no-holds-barred discussion forum.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,978,411 times
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I heard the ad, I'm vegetarian/vegan and I am not offended, insulted or anything else. To those that are I say: Grow Up.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:15 PM
 
Location: mid south
353 posts, read 860,654 times
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So those that are offended don't agree that many people try being a vegaterian but realize it isn't for them? So wouldn't that make it a "phase"?

2. A temporary manner, attitude, or pattern of behavior: just a passing phase.

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Old 06-21-2013, 03:15 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 36,496,486 times
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I guess I just don't get the big deal. I mean - if there was veggie restaurant commercial, that said "our tofu burgers are so good, even your Bambi-eating husband will love them!" I wouldn't get offended. I'd accept that it's intended as a tongue-in-cheek prod, and probably get a brief, but not particularly hearty chuckle over it. And even if I didn't think it was funny, I wouldn't be feel personally insulted by a commercial that is -intending- to bring me in, but fails.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,656,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
I'm pretty sure they didn't intentionally insult anyone.
^^^^ This.

Quote:
If they were targetting their entire restaurants as a whole entity to their usual demographic - which is - meat-eaters...
Well, they are a gourmet burger chain, so yeah, of course. But their target demographic is actually women with kids. They are selling a 37 minute, $10 per person casual family dining experience.

Quote:
"Our demographics are distinctive for a reason," says Culbertson. "Fifty-nine percent of our guests are female, which puts us at the top of any major concept. That’s because a big focus at Red Robin is to make our restaurant the kind of place where women feel comfortable bringing their friends and families." Red Robin | Owner Interviews - Restaurant Hospitality
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
then it would've been a perfectly appropriate, and clever ad - since they wouldn't be trying to bring in vegetarians - but rather, offering an option for families who have a minority vegetarian member among them. That way, they would draw in a family who would normally BE a customer, but refrains because of one member (such as - a teenage daughter going through a phase).
And I think this is exactly what happened. There's a fairly common refrain in parenting forums that moms don't know what to do with their teenage daughters who are "going through a vegetarian phase." No matter whether that observation is accurate or not, it is a fairly common cultural touchpoint currently that the Red Robin ad made a mild joke about.

Quote:
If they were attempting to draw vegetarians into their restaurant, then it wasn't well thoughtout, and rather insensitive, and I agree that vegetarians might be insulted by the dismissal.
Same here. But honestly, on a list of things to be upset about in our society, I'd rank this way down toward the bottom. I'm not saying that to marginalize anyone, but simply to honestly assess the relative severity of the issue in a world gone mad. (Sorry, I have no specific references for that last statement... oh, just go read any news site )

Quote:
But it's equally insulting to dismiss Red Robin, whose intentions weren't to insult at all, but they missed the mark with a growing minority demographic.
Before this issue came up, I would have agreed with this last sentence entirely. But I like to fact check what I post here, and when I checked that very last point, which I've said many times myself, I was very surprised to find that, at least according to a July 2012 Gallup Poll, vegetarians are not a growing demographic in the US.

Quote:
Five percent of American adults consider themselves to be vegetarians, largely unchanged from the 6% who identified as vegetarians in 1999 and 2001. In U.S., 5% Consider Themselves Vegetarians
And the irony is, I can see that the upset caused by this ad might very well have worked in Red Robin's favor. I mean, before this buzz who even knew they have a Garden Burger on their menu? But now we all do. And I think that ultimately helps to mainstream the idea of restaurants having vegetarian choices.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: California
2,477 posts, read 1,780,845 times
Reputation: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
So you're saying that a restaurant that serves mostly white people would be "appropriate" in presenting a "clever" racially-biased advertisement?
Uh, no. Race has nothing to do with the commercial, but I see you seem to link race to it for nothing more then and inept an ignorant ability to comprehend what the actual commercial was about (vs what some authors attempts to claim from an inability to comprehend something). The author in the OP's link is just as ignorant by relating it to vegetarians when the commercial clearly stated "young daughters with eating disorders", meaning young girls that think they have to look like a model in a magazine so they can't eat anything that will make them fat. That is a far cry from "vegetarians".

Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
Disparaging humor is never appropriate, in any public circumstance
Why? Because you claim it so? There wasn't anything "humorous" about the commercial, it touched upon a well known issue, "eating disorders of young women".
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 17,467,531 times
Reputation: 4321
Given the poor reaction to the commercial in the vegetarian community, the commercial was obviously a poor choice. Someone didn't do their homework. Whether they were targeting "mom's with vegetarian daughters" or whatever else demographic doesn't really matter....they can't isolate the viewing of this commercial to a single demographic.

But Red Robin is terrible food to began with....so hopefully this will push some vegetarians to eat at better restaurants.

Lastly, a bunch of non-vegetarians telling vegetarians what they should and shouldn't take offense to is, well, silly..... Vegetarians have to deal with all sorts of gibberish from meat-heads, so while this commercial in itself is just a small jab you have to look at it in the overall context of matters. Of course, what would non-vegetarians know about being vegetarian?
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