“Pot” campaign boosts sales at US seafood chain

Published on
April 2, 2018

Drivers in southern Louisiana, U.S.A. are seing several large billboards professing advertising seafood in a unique way.

The ads from Lafayette, Louisiana-based Don’s Seafood, which operates six restaurants in southern Louisiana, read “This Pot is Legal.” Instead of cannabis, which is still considered illegal to possess in many of the country's states, the “pot” that Don’s is referring to in its marketing campaign holds crawfish. 

“Every good Cajun owns a good crawfish pot,” Eric Mulina, COO of Don’s Seafood, told SeafoodSource. “We sell [boiled] crawfish by the pound and go through around 20,000 to 30,000 pounds a week.”

The billboard campaign launched around a month ago to coincide with the start of Lent.

Don’s Seafood’s advertising agency, Mesh, approached executives at the family-owned restaurant chain, which has been operating since 1934 about the humorous billboard campaign. 

“All of us who looked at the idea couldn’t stop laughing, so we thought it would be fun for our customers as well,” Mulina said. “We have enjoyed the response. We don’t usually see a lot of response from our billboards.”

While Lent and crawfish season is already a busy time of year at Don’s Seafood, the chain’s restaurant managers have heard from customers who have visited the restaurants because of the billboards, according to Mulina. The response to the ads has been overwhelmingly positive and non-polarizing — unlike the debate over legalizing medical marijuana in several U.S. states, Mulina said.

“This is all meant in fun and nothing political. I haven’t heard anything other than positive [feedback],” Mulina said.

The marketing campaign has helped Don’s take advantage of the superior crawfish season so far this year. Crawfish has been plentiful and large – just what customers want, particularly leading into Easter weekend, Mulina said.

“It’s going to get better, too,” he said. “Rain is filling up the Atchafalaya spillway, and once that fills over, we will have more crawfish.”

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