Popeyes counts down to 2021 on chicken sandwich anniversary

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of its popular chicken sandwich, a new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen ad campaign is counting down to the end of a “crazy” 2020.

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(Popeyes)
(Popeyes)

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of its popular chicken sandwich, a new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen ad campaign is counting down to the end of a “crazy” 2020.

The quick service restaurant chain is sharing this message via a vertical display in Manhattan Time’s Square noting the days, hours, minutes and seconds left until 2021, similar to the traditional New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. The display alternates between the countdown and an image that says, “At least we still have the sandwich.”

“We wanted to do something that would both celebrate the sandwich universally and also be relevant to what’s happening in everyone’s lives and society,” Bruno Cardinali, Popeyes North America CMO, told Marketing Daily. “With the crazy year we’re living through and all the things happening in society, we felt it was a good way to celebrate and bring fun and positivity to everyone’s lives.”

The countdown will end on August 31. The vertical display ad campaign will be supported by a full-page ad in The New York Times, a social media push and TV ads with the message, “Y’all…college football postponed? Music festivals canceled? Music festivals virtual? Favorite app getting banned? At least we still have the sandwich.”

Agencies involved in the campaign are Miami-based Gut and Alison Brod Marketing + Communications.

The tweet that launched a sandwich war

The chicken sandwich craze of 2019 almost wasn't. The August 12 launch of the fried chicken sandwich from quick service restaurant Popeyes nearly went unnoticed. That is — until seven days later — when rival restaurant Chick-fil-A sent out a tweet reminding customers that their own sandwich was "the original chicken sandwich” and Popeyes immediately fired back with “Y’all good?”

The resulting Twitter feud generated major buzz, garnering rave reviews for the Popeyes sandwich which sold out in less than two weeks. Customers and fans debated online which chicken sandwich was better, with the term #chickensandwichwars rising to the top of trending topics on Twitter.

Popeyes relaunched the sandwich in November 2019, fueling a 34% sales growth for the brand that quarter.

Chicken sandwiches continue to be popular with consumers in 2020 after a banner year in 2019. Multiple QSRs, including KFC, McDonald’s, Golden Chicken, Big Boy and Mexican quick-service chain Del Taco, have all launched their own take on the fried chicken sandwich in the last few months.

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