RT – The Joke That Nobody Gets

Earlier this week, I wrote about RT’s media push around its intention to blow up one of its “old” Ruby Tuesday restaurants and broadcast it online. This broadcasted demolition was part of the company’s marketing campaign to highlight RT’s new, reimaged brand, which follows its massive remodel program. Following the explosion, RT posted a letter (posted below) on its website saying that due to all of the “sameness” within the casual dining segment that it mistakenly blew up Cheeky’s Bar and Grill restaurant rather than one of its own Ruby Tuesday locations.

I thought the initial public demolition was ridiculous (please refer to my posting from August 4), and the posted apologetic letter even more ridiculous. Then, this morning I saw a new RT commercial which shows RT’s SVP of marketing communicating the exact same thing as the posted letter while a television in the background broadcasts the explosion (you can view the commercial at RubyTuesday.com). I am now only wasting all of your time with this ridiculousness because this is just bad marketing and will not help RT’s already deteriorated top-line.

RT’s prospective customers (the group most ad campaigns target) will not get the joke because they have most likely never been to an “old” Ruby Tuesday so the fact that there is a lot of “sameness” in casual dining will not convince them to run out and eat at a casual dining restaurant.

RT’s former loyal customers have already proven that they feel alienated by the company’s recent reimages as evidenced by recent traffic results so the commercial will only remind them why they stopped going.