This story has been corrected. See below.
A quick note to the social media folks at Red Lobster: Stop digging
Beyoncé dropped the mother of all branding gifts on the seafood chain Saturday, when she surprise-released her new single “Formation” replete with the, um, saucy line, “When he f*&% me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster.”
It was apparently such a major gift that Red Lobster didn’t know how to respond. Being that there was no way for the restaurant to not know what Beyoncé had said (after all, it was Super Bowl weekend, ground zero for corporate America’s advertising and social media efforts), the delay caused Beyoncé fans to hyperventilate on Twitter in anticipation.
You have to sympathize with the Red Lobster social media folks—just a little—considering that they had to figure out how to square their family-dining image with a shoutout that portrayed a visit to the restaurant as a kind of performance bonus for good sex.
But eight hours? That’s how long it took Red Lobster to reply. And it was with a tame offer to name their biscuits after Beyoncé. Nothing sexy here.
Let’s just say that didn’t fly. The insults came fast and furious.
Not content to let it go, the social media people at Red Lobster tried to recover on Sunday—twice—but again got savaged for their decided lack of cleverness and spice.
Even the New York Times is getting in on the fun, offering up recipes for those who apparently don’t have the skills for a Red Lobster invite.
On the bright side, while the Twitterati is wishing a slow, painful death on the Red Lobster marketing and PR department, no one’s complaining about the food, and the brand is on the top of half the world’s mind as a reasonable reward for a good time.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Red Lobster is owned by Darden Restaurants.