The New York Times reported on the latest promotion from Popeyes. Really?! Is it an extraordinarily slow news day in the advertising and marketing world? Hell, the reporter even saw fit to cover Annie the Chicken Queen. An account person from GSD&M gushed, “[Annie] speaks the truth about food, is passionate about food. She resonates because she’s relatable and speaks directly to the consumer. There’s a direct connection.” This quote is followed by a radio spot excerpt wherein Annie declares, “I take a whole tenderloin, split it, slow-marinate it in my Louisiana spices, hand-batter it and fry it up fresh.” Um, Deidrie Henry isn’t cooking shit—she’s just talking shit (versus speaking the truth about food). GSD&M, on the other hand, is cooking a bullshit feast.
Popeyes Offers Chicken With Its Own Playlist
By Jane L. Levere
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. has introduced its latest limited-time-offer menu item, made from chicken tenderloin, with an ad campaign featuring a Spotify playlist.
The new item, Tear’n Tenderloin Chicken, is part of a continuing Popeyes strategy that uses offers made for a limited time to drive customers into its restaurants.
The new item features the part of a chicken that is below the breast; this is marinated in Louisiana seasonings, cooked in the company’s crispy Southern coating and split down the middle for dipping in a creamy garlic dipping sauce. It is being sold with Cajun fries and a buttermilk biscuit for $3.99 through Aug. 25.
Marianna Magee, director of marketing calendar and planning for Popeyes, said the new chicken offer was “very typical” for the company.
“We’re all about providing new, exciting, limited-time offers that are going to pique the interest of our consumers and drive them into our restaurants to enjoy our new products,” she said.
“We have heavy fast-food users who are very familiar with Q.S.R. brands and menu item promotions,” she said, using the abbreviation for quick service restaurants. “We see consumers make a point of coming into Popeyes when we serve one-of-a-kind products.” Ms. Magee said Popeyes typically makes 10 to 12 limited-time offers each year, some featuring new products like chicken tenderloin, others not. She also said the company had previously promoted boneless chicken during the month of August.
“People eat boneless chicken in summertime months,” she said. “This one has a nice portability aspect. They can eat it out and about on the go, when they travel.”
Ms. Magee also said the target market for Popeyes was generally frequent fast-food customers ages 25 to 49; boneless chicken in particular appeals to the younger members of this group, who grew up eating food like chicken tenders, strips and nuggets.
The new campaign, by GSD&M, based in Austin, Tex., and part of the Omnicom Group, features Annie, the brand’s spokeswoman, portrayed by the actress Deidrie Henry. Soumya Ramakrishnan, account leadership supervisor at GSD&M, said Annie “speaks the truth about food, is passionate about food.”
“She resonates because she’s relatable and speaks directly to the consumer,” Ms. Ramakrishnan said. “There’s a direct connection.”
Ms. Henry is featured in 15- and 30-second TV spots and a 60-second radio spot for the new item. In the radio spot she asks: “Are you ready for a Popeyes cooking lesson, honey? There is one part of the white meat on a chicken that is the most tender part of it. It’s called the tenderloin. And this one special part of the chicken is what I’m using to create my one-of-a-kind new Popeyes Tear’n Tenderloin Chicken. I take a whole tenderloin, split it, slow-marinate it in my Louisiana spices, hand-batter it and fry it up fresh.”
TV advertising is running on cable programs like “Sunday Best” on BET, “The Big Bang Theory” on TBS, and “Modern Family” and “WWE Raw” on USA. Television and radio ads are running in many local markets, including Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Dallas.
The promotion on Spotify, the online listening platform, features a “Tear’n It Up” 35-song playlist. Spotify, which says it has more than 40 million active users, provides listeners free access to its music, though they must sign up for it.
Ms. Magee said the demographics of Spotify users were similar to those of Popeyes’ customers.
“Louisiana is about food and music, and we’re bringing the two together in celebration,” she said. “We’ve got the food covered. We want to provide consumers an additional way to connect with our brand.” Some songs on the playlist — which Ms. Magee described as “very eclectic” — are by New Orleans-based bands like the Soul Rebels.
In addition to listening to the playlist created by Popeyes, consumers can submit their own recommendations for songs to it, by themselves or others. The link to the playlist on the Spotify website says, in a line addressed to artists: “Don’t just break into the music biz. Tear into it.”
Popeyes is running a 15-second spot on Spotify, with Marcus Hubbard of the Soul Rebels, promoting its playlist. It is also promoting the playlist on Facebook and Twitter.
Ms. Magee said Popeyes was spending $8 million on media for the new campaign, which began on July 28 and will run through Aug. 25. She said this spending was consistent with advertising the company does for other limited-time offers.
According to Kantar Media, Popeyes spent $70.3 million on advertising last year, its largest budget since 2009.