The Other Other White Meat

Article excerpt

Byline: Jesse Ellison

Maine rebrands the lobster.

Last week in Rockland, Maine, if you bought a tire from Eastern Tire & Auto Service or got a massage at Synergy Massage & Bodywork, your purchase came with a lobster. Dozens of restaurants up and down the coast were offering lobster specials, advertising them on sandwich boards outside and posters in the windows. It was "Lobsterpalooza," or, as the campaign's creator has said, a way to turn "lobsters into Lobsteraid."

All these promotions are part of an effort to mitigate the impact of this summer's lobster glut. A record harvest sent prices lower than they've been in at least three decades, and Maine, where the lobster industry is estimated to be the third-largest employer, is scrambling to figure out what to do with its unprecedented catch.

One solution: rebrand the lobster and convince people to eat more of it. Gov. Paul LePage kicked off the Maine Lobster Promotion Council's new Lobster Lovers Celebration by declaring August "Maine Lobster Month." Meanwhile, a new TV spot asks Mainers to "get out and show your love for Maine lobster and support our local lobster industry." The ad shows a lobsterman giving a bouquet of the crustaceans to his girlfriend and ends with lobsters on the beach in the shape of a heart.

Plans are underway for a similar campaign on the national level. …