Olive Garden Enters the World of Bizarro Marketing (Chicago Tribune)
Since inception, Olive Garden restaurants have based their marketing on the idea that bigger is better, offering an “endless pasta bowl.” Well, as the company’s owner, Darden Restaurants, Inc., has recently found out, that’s not what people want any more. So, in a twist straight out of the “bizarro” world established in Superman comics — where everything is the opposite of what it should be — the company’s new marketing platform features giving you less for your money. It is a conscious effort to attract millennials, even though their “social occasions generally don’t tend to be large meals in a traditional sense,” according to Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic, Inc., a Chicago-based research firm. It also is an effort to re-attract investors by Darden, to reverse flagging share price.