Roping in the Pope for Lent Promotion
Issue: Red Robin challenged Coyne to make waves for the launch of its new Wild Pacific Crab Cake Burger, which launched at the beginning of Lent. While competitors were spending millions advertising their non-meat offerings during Lent, Red Robin needed public relations to drive awareness of the Wild Pacific Crab Cake Burger.
Idea: With Red Robin stocks at an all-time high, and investors keeping a keen eye on the company, it was imperative to launch the burger in a way that kept with the fun, playful spirit of the brand. An offer was made to Pope Francis that if he dined at any Red Robin location during the Lenten season, everyone in America would receive a free Wild Pacific Crab Cake Burger every Friday up until Good Friday. Consumers were urged to join in by tweeted the Pope using #ropeinthepope.
Impact: The restaurant industry is a sea of sameness during Lent, but Red Robin was able to capture media attention for a crab cake burger that wasn’t all that different from competitor offerings. Outlets such as USA Today, Fox & Friends, ABCNews.com, Huffington Post and Entrepreneur covered the burger in stand-alone pieces, breaking out of just the seasonal round ups.