The unexpected popularity of Popeyes chicken sandwich now serves as inspiration for its latest campaign that pays homage to all of the unforeseen changes the past year has brought. As the pandemic continues to singe almost all of 2020, the chicken chain’s new campaign calls for a joint anniversary and “New Years Eve” celebration that can put the difficult year to bed early.
On August 19, Popeyes officially celebrated one year of its famous fried chicken sandwich. The brand spent the day reminding fans that despite all the unfortunate events of 2020, its chicken sandwich still exists. Taking to Twitter, Popeyes listed out several unsavory situations from this year, like the toilet paper shortage, TikTok’s possible ban, and the arrival of murder hornets. To counter the long list of bleak news, Popeyes then proposed a new idea—to call time on 2020 and “officially” begin a new year. Popeyes took this Twitter dream to New York’s Time Square, where it set up a New Year’s Eve countdown-style billboard to “officially” ring in the new year.
Through its out-of-home and social media campaign, Popeyes could distract fans from the chaos of 2020 in a comical, lighthearted way. The effort also allows Popeyes to keep its chicken sandwich top of mind with fans across the country who remember the pandemonium of its release a year ago. Taking to Twitter, as the brand did last year to promote the sandwich release, could help Popeyes build loyalty with its large following according to a Gartner report. Creating an anniversary-end of year hybrid celebration could also help Popeyes connect with customers through current events while still maintaining focus on its own brand and products. Tapping into the demand for restaurant delivery during the Coronavirus pandemic could also build interest around the new campaign. Popeyes offered free delivery in honor of the one year anniversary, which could additionally increase sales and encourage those that have yet to try the chicken sandwich to have one delivered for free.
Popeye’s new campaign could strike a chord with many consumers who may be more inclined to frequent a restaurant that supplies comfort food and an understanding for what this year has brought to the table.