Adweek interviewed new Popeyes Global CMO Paloma Azulay about the planetary vision for the brand—and she even discussed the popularity of fried chicken among Blacks:
ADWEEK: Black Americans have been a huge part of Popeyes support base for years, and were a big part of amplifying the chicken sandwich discussion on Twitter. How will the brand stay true to that audience while growing its base, and how will you ensure that diversity is represented in the marketing and creative teams?
AZULAY: This is one of the main challenges that we have in the process of expanding the brand. Consumers want authentic stories and they want truth. If we try to please everyone, or pretend to be something that we’re not and deny our roots, I think people won’t buy into it. So I think we need to make a big effort to stay close to the communities, to listen to our guests.
They’re Popeyes hardcore fans, and I believe we have been doing a good job so far. When Beyonce launched the Ivy Park collection, we reacted super quickly launching That Look From Popeyes, which was basically a fashion photoshoot with our own uniforms. We put the uniform on sale and it was sold out immediately. That took us probably three or four days. And the secret behind this idea, and I think it’s the secret behind our way of doing marketing, is listening. Because I think when you listen, and when you’re close to your core audience, you can create content and ideas that will be relevant for everyone, because they are authentic. So we put a lot of efforts into listening, to keep exploring what our guests are telling us and putting them the spotlight. I think this is a core principle. To stay true to who we are.
Okay, for starters, Azulay completely sidestepped answering the inquiry about ensuring vendor and agency diversity. Plus, completely missing from the conversation were any references to Annie the Chicken Queen. This is not good news, honey.