Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"A Questionable Strategy"

Taking Highway 12 west from New Buffalo, a town five miles east of our Michiana cabin, we passed a large billboard advertising “Casey’s Bar and Grill”, situated on New Buffalo’s main drag.  

We like Casey’s.  If you’re ever there, order the lake perch; you will not be disappointed.  The last time we dined there, we, in fact, both ordered the lake perch, but I asked for mine to be sautéed, without the breading.   The best the waiter could promise was that my order would be “lightly breaded”, and I said “Good enough.”  Dr. M was happy with the standard “breaded” preparation.

We then waited quite a while.  When our dinner finally arrived, the waiter made a particular point of announcing “lightly breaded” as he set my plate down in front of me.  To my eye, however, both orders looked exactly the same. 

My request may have over-challenged the kitchen.  It appears only the most experienced chefs can achieve that subtle distinction.  

A little more batter… no – too much… un peu less… un petit peu more…

Exactement – ‘Lightly breaded’.”

That’s probably why it took them so long. 

CASEY’S CHEF:  “‘Lightly’ breaded.  How the heck do you do that?  It’s like ‘lightly salted.’  Do they want me to count the grains?” 

After a few time-consuming attempts, they devised an alternative strategy.  They prepared both dishes the same, instructing the waiter,

“Pick one and call it ‘Lightly breaded.’”

I was inclined to leave that waiter “lightly tipped.”  But I didn’t.  (You don’t punish the “Middle Man.”)

My intuitive sense that Casey’s sensibility was a little “off” was confirmed when I noticed that billboard. 

Specifically, its location.

I’ll admit I’m no experienced marketing expert.  But, from an amateur’s perspective, there appeared to be something less than canny about their promotional approach. 

Tell me if you agree.  Not that you have to.  Even though I had Legionnaire’s Disease.  (Might as well get something out of it.)

Okay, here’s the thing.

We were heading away from New Buffalo where “Casey’s Bar and Grill” is located and there’s the billboard encouraging us to eat there. 

Do you see what I’m driving at?

When we saw of the billboard, we were driving away from where they were encouraging us to go.

For maximum advantage, shouldn’t that billboard be on the other side of the highway?

So you can see it when you’re driving towards Casey’s, rather than away from it? 

Wouldn’t that make more sense?

“Oh look!  ‘Casey’s Bar and Grill.’  We’re heading in that direction.  Why don’t we eat there?”

Rather than…

“Oh, look!  ‘Casey’s Bar and Grill.’  We’re heading in the opposite direction.  Why don’t we make a U-Turn on the highway and eat there?”

I don’t think people do that.

The best that misplaced billboard can engender is regret.

(NOTICING BILLBOARD, DRIVING AWAY FROM NEW BUFFALO)  “‘Casey’s Bar and Grill.’  We should have eaten there.”

Which may make the folks at Casey’s feel good, but it won’t make them a dime!

The only solution, the way I see it, is they’ve got to either move the billboard…

Or move “Casey’s Bar and Grill.”

It is possible I’m missing something.

Maybe you can help me out.


Fred from Scarborough said...

My guess is that it costs less to advertise on that side of the highway and who can pass up a bargain?

YEKIMI said...

Maybe they don't own the land on the other side of the highway and the owner will not let them put up a sign or the owner wants a king's ransom [or a weekly supply of lightly breaded fish] to put up a sign or a government entity says THAT side of the road isn't zoned correctly for a sign and if you put one up all hell will break loose, anarchy will reign and civilization will come to an end if you attempt to put one up.

James said...

If they moved the billboard to the other side of the highway, they'd have to horizontally reverse it so that you could read it properly in your rear-view mirror.