As Its Chicken Sandwich Turns 1, Popeyes Rings in 2021 Five Months Early

Because 2020 can't end soon enough

It's Aug. 19. Happy New Year!

Popeyes' chicken sandwich turns 1 year old today. So naturally, the chain decided to celebrate by ringing in the New Year five months early.

As part of a campaign by ad agency GUT, the fast feeder will run a cheeky digital countdown at 1 Times Square in New York with displays rising 350 feet into the sky.

What's more, Popeyes will offer free delivery all day long through its app, and run print ads assuring us that "We still have The Sandwich" even though the soul-crushing 2020 shit-show drags on:

"We know everyone living through this unbelievable year can relate to this campaign," says Bruno Cardinali, chief marketer at Popeyes North America. "It's a time when few things surprise us anymore, it's gotten so outrageous. But through it all, the Popeyes chicken sandwich isn't going anywhere. We want our fans to know they can rely on us and our food for comfort."

The sandwich brought Popeyes plenty of comfort, that's for sure. It ranked among the most successful product launches of 2019, ignited a "chicken sandwich war" with Chick-fil-A (among others), and sold 203 million units over the past 12 months.

This project video packs even more spicy-chicken goodness:

Popeyes | At least we still have The Sandwich

Last month, sister Restaurant Brands International fast-food chain Burger King cooked up a similar play, heralding an early start to the Christmas season. Popeyes has proven especially adept at deploying such buzzy strategies to stay top of mind. Recent efforts include a ploy to swap chicken dinners for pizzas, a sneaky way to auto-correct your dinner plans (again, substituting chicken for pizza), and a jingle contest for struggling musicians.

"The launch of the chicken sandwich catapulted our brand right into the heart of pop culture, and that's a place we want to stay," Cardinali says. "So, we develop our campaigns and communications in a way that's relevant to what is happening in the world, without losing sight of who we are. We aim to deliver our brand messages in a way that's impactful, entertaining and clever enough for people to say, 'Hey, did you see what Popeyes did?' "

CREDITS

Client: Popeyes
Fernando Machado – Global Chief Marketing Officer
Bruno Cardinali – Head of Marketing Popeyes North America
Paloma Azulay – Global Chief Marketing Officer
Patricia Pieranti – Communications & Media Lead North America
Daniela Chamorro – Marketing Communications Manager

Agency: GUT Agency
Anselmo Ramos – Creative Chairman / Founder
Paulo Fogaça – Chief Operating Officer/Partner
Carmen Rodriguez – Chief Client Officer/ Partner
Juan Javier Peña Plaza – Executive Creative Director/Partner
Ricardo Casal – Executive Creative Director/Partner
Guido Fusetti – Head of Art
Jeffrey Hodgson – Creative Director
Eliana Ferrer – Creative Director
Samantha Lemoine – Content Director
Leila Moussaoui – Associate Creative Director
Frank Garcia – Senior Copywriter
Giulia Magaldi – Senior Art Director
Sai He – Senior Copywriter
Christopher Williams – Community Manager
Nefari Steele – Community Manager
Cristina Cornejo Ayala - Creative Manager
Renata Neumann – Head of Production
Alexandra Odriozola – Senior Producer
Denisse Ramirez – Senior Producer
Aileen Echenique – Business Director
Jennifer Rangel – Account Supervisor
Wilmarie Velez – Account Supervisor
Pablo Rosas – Director of Strategy

Production: Cosmo Street Editorial
Lorenzo Bomicci - Editor
Philip Gomez - Assistant Editor
Idalia Deshon - Producer
Yvette Cobarrubias-Sears - Executive Producer/Managing Partner
Nico Cragnolino - Flame Artist
John Erdman: AE Artist

Mix: Studio Center
Debbie Manzione - Casting Director / Account Manager Audio
Shippley Watson - Engineer
Ryan Dorp - Engineer

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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