This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

5 Companies That Really Need a Super Bowl Ad

Red Lobster

How bad was 2013 for Red Lobster? It had to spend the latter portion of the year assuring potential customers it wasn't dead.

Rumors of its demise weren't all that exaggerated. Parent company Darden Restaurants saw Red Lobster's same-store sales slip 4.5% last quarter and Darden and made noise about spinning off Red Lobster into its own entity. Red Lobster's prestige has faded in recent years, as even in a Darden portfolio that includes the Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Yard House chains, Red Lobster falls somewhere beneath the Capital Grille in the pecking order. Darden issued warnings as early as 2012 that its 2-for-$25 meal deals were falling short of the 2-for-$20 deals offered by its competitors. It's been fairly disastrous since.

Must Read: The Winter Classic Was the Bumbling NHL's Best Idea

Even as Darden toyed with the restaurant's logo and uniforms and briefly considered ditching waiters and waitresses altogether, there wasn't much working in Red Lobster's favor. NPD Group noted that the number of restaurant visits driven by deals rose between 3% and 5% at the height of the recession in 2008 and 2009, but slumped 3% last year. What casual-dining establishments are learning quickly is that nobody's going to buy their reheated food or pre-fabricated atmosphere if they don't feel it's a value. The cost of dinners out rose nearly 3% over the [ast year, according to the Consumer Price Index. That's more than the 2.2% overall rate of inflation and isn't helped when a $10 promotional meal jumps to $12 or $14, jacking up the price 20% to 40%.

Meanwhile, as Outback Steakhouse and Carraba's Italian owner Bloomin' Brands added the Bonefish Grill seafood chain to its family more than a decade ago and even lower-tier casual-dining chains such as DineEquity's Applebee's added seafood to their menus at reduced prices, Red Lobster's appeal diminished. On the more casual end, it lost ground to Buffalo Wild Wings. That chain's emphasis on beer, wings, sports and lots of big televisions helped it grow from 340 restaurants in 2008 to more than 500 by 2010 and boosted its revenue by 6.6% that year alone.

The Super Bowl aims ads directly at consumers who were once Red Lobster's core constituents. They were the folks who paid for fancy seafood dinners in landlocked states and saw the chain as destination dining. Now they see it as an overpriced strip mall stop with decent cheddar biscuits. A Super Bowl ad could have helped not only give the company a pep talk as it reinvents itself, but could have helped reintroduce it to U.S. diners who've since sought other options. Now, it's just a fading seafood chain set adrift.

3 of 6

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
TSLA $212.65 -4.50%
YHOO $36.97 2.70%
AAPL $92.94 -0.73%
FB $117.53 -0.45%
GOOG $701.14 0.78%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,621.75 -29.51 -0.17%
S&P 500 2,050.03 -1.09 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,722.6720 -2.9670 -0.06%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs