Smart marketing misses mark for Los Angeles restaurant

upper west restaurant

There are many expressions in the English language that can be applied to various situations.

The phrase “outkicking your coverage” is a term from American football that describes when the kicker launches the ball too far, putting his team out of position and allowing the return team to take advantage by finding open seams. Essentially, the phrase means to do so well that it becomes detrimental.

The same can happen in marketing.

An example of this happened earlier this month when Santa Monica restaurant The Upper West took out an ad in the Los Angeles Times’ sport section praising its hometown team on a great playoff run. The only thing is that the ad mentioned the Los Angeles Lakers, who had a dismal season, rather than the Los Angeles Clippers, who made it to the NBA Western Conference Semifinals. This was taken by many as a mistake. But, they are wrong.

At the bottom of the ad beneath its logo and above its web and social information is The Upper West’s tagline, which states “Wholly Focused on Food.” This should have been enough evidence for people to realize that the ad was meant to be “tongue-in-cheek,” playing off its slogan. However, in this day and age, reporters quickly jump on stories as fast as they can in order to be the first one to “break” it…even if it goes against common sense.

In this situation, the unfortunate thing is that many readers followed the reporter’s suggestion and slighted the restaurant with some even saying they would never eat there, proving that, if you’re too smart in your humor, it can turn out to hurt you.

In the end, due to many people pegging the ad as a mistake and talking about, the restaurant gained exposure and ultimately made it on the home page of Yahoo!, which might have been the plan from the beginning.