Popeyes Unfreezes Ken Jeong for Big Game Foolishness
Which brand will take home the 2024 Super Clio for the best Super Bowl commercial? We'll find out on Feb. 12.
KEN JEONG: You're unfreezing me. That means...
SCIENTIST: Yes, there's a better chicken wing: Popeyes.
KEN JEONG: The sailor man?
SCIENTIST: No, the chicken place.
Ken's awfully chill in the eatery's first Super Bowl commercial. He emerges from 52 years of cryogenic sleep to savor five types of wings, coping with modern wonders (horrors?) like delivery drones, robo-vacs and Goldendoodles along the way.
"Two dogs in one? Impossible!"
Not at all, funnyman/MD. It's how we roll in the go-go digital age.
"The Super Bowl is the biggest day for wings consumption, and over 100 million people watch the Super Bowl, so it felt like the right moment for us to highlight our new wings and encourage trial," Popeyes CMO Jeff Klein tells Muse.
Jeong brings his trademark brand of sweet, spicy comic sauce to the table. Ken's familiar, manic-everyman schtick works in any context. It scores here, and seems well-suited to a brand seeking to tickle funny bones in the most mainstream venue imaginable.
Looks like they let Ken be Ken. Wise move. Dude's overexposed, but he's hilarious no matter what he says or does. It's a wonder that doggo—Mocha, Ken's real BFF—didn't roll over and play dead from laughter.
"His humor and infectious energy helped bring the storyline to life in an entertaining way, making this commercial a lot of fun to watch," says Klein. "Beyond that, Ken has a personal connection to Popeyes. He did his medical residency in New Orleans, where Popeyes was born, and would spend late nights after a shift treating himself to Popeyes."
Jeong's ad-libbing skills made it into the spot.
"Towards the end of the 60-second spot, you'll see Ken spontaneously belt out the Popeyes jingle," Klein recalls. "That wasn’t scripted or planned. We loved it so much that we decided to keep it in the final cut. Ken's dog, Mocha, makes a cameo in the spot as well, marking the first time they’ll be featured on screen together."
Grammy winner Calmatic directed the spot, which was developed with McKinney. A 30-second edit will run in the game.
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