It’s no question that Beyoncé was the talk of the town after her stellar performance at Super Bowl 50. She performed along side Bruno Mars and Cold Play. In the halftime show, she performed her new single ‘Formation’ which only dropped a few days prior to the program. There was a lot of symbolism and shout outs to other brands throughout the song, but one line in particular took the sales of one company to the next level.
In the song, Queen Bey says the line “When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster”. Although the statement is very vulgar, that didn’t cause anyone to hesitate to act upon it. Many people who hadn’t previously heard the single, thought that this was a tactic thrown at Beyoncé for marketing purposes, but that wasn’t the case. Her shout out to the popular chain restaurant was all on her, and their sales went up 33% after the fact. This is a strong example of Earned Media because the restaurant had absolutely nothing to do with this statement. The pure use of the restaurant’s name by a pop queen, if you will, was enough to push business to the top. Spokes woman for Red Lobster stated, “[we] had no advance warning,” and that they were “completely surprised,” by the shout out.