The Michelin Guide Is Shaken But Not Stirred

Guide of authority turns to social networking to make its mark in America

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    NEWSLETTERS

    French Laundry
    French Laundry is one of the Bay Area's Michelin restaurants.

    Though most big chefs still care deeply about the Michelin Guide, American consumers' attitude has been more ambivalent. So, in order to really plug the red book this year, Michelin has kicked off a humorous PR push featuring Twitter and a Famously Anonymous ad campaign.

    In the ads, Michelin  highlights, while poking fun of, the fact that its reviewers are professionals of the highest caliber but no one can know who they are. In fact, Michelin reviewers are forced to make up stories about who they are and why they are at restaurants just so no one figures out their real ambitions.

    Says a brand strategist: "There’s kind of a ‘Da Vinci Code,’ a little James Bond feel, to who they are and how they go about working and your imagination tends to run wild with it."

    “One of the things we realized when we started to question people in New York, they realized what Michelin was about, but they didn’t realize that this was about a team of professionals,” Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin guides, told the New York Times. “We’re trying, really, to make sure that people understand they are on the road, they are out there and maybe they could spot them.”

    The San Francisco edition is released Oct. 20. Until then, go ahead and let your imagination run wild with James Bond/Mary Magdalene fantasies.

    Eater SF contributed to this story.