Media watch: State of the Salmon


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 31, 2011

Ask 312 million Americans what they remember most about the State of the Union address and one word comes to mind — salmon. So it’s no surprise that mainstream media coverage of President Obama’s salmon joke has been abundant.

The Seattle Times, ABC News and Huffington Post are just a few of the many mainstream media outlets that covered the news. While none questioned whether the statement resonated with the public, some doubted whether the president’s joke conveyed the intended message about government inefficiency.

And laughter wasn’t the only response — some seafood professionals groaned. Beyond pointing out inaccuracies in the statement, regulatory experts were also forced to defend the current fisheries management system.

Hopefully The Examiner’s Randi Minetor is right: “It’s likely that President Obama’s passing reference to this particular inefficiency was just a way to generate an easy laugh. While the salmon lifecycle came to national attention briefly during the presidential speech, it probably won’t stay popular for very long. Hopefully, there are bigger fish to fry in the federal budget.”

For one Anacortes, Wash., smoked salmon producer, Obama’s speech turned out to be an unexpected lift. On the morning after last week’s address, SeaBear Smoke Salmon launched a 24-hour buy-one-get-one-free special to capitalize on the speech.

“We capitalized on it because we thought it was a fun little idea and didn’t have much in the way of expectations, but it actually delivered more results than we expected,” SeaBear President Mike Mondello told SeafoodSource. “While the absolute numbers were small, it did result in incremental sales on our website, our website and in our Made In Washington retail stores. In fact, our stores overall had a great day that Wednesday, and the promo contributed to that.”

In addition, Mondello said close to half of the sales on the special offer were to new customers, and more people shared the offer on Facebook and Twitter than in past efforts.

It probably wasn’t President Obama’s intention to spark smoked salmon sales. But for SeaBear, that’s exactly what it did.

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