Daily Insights

Popeye’s Marketing Prowess

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Feb 25, 2021

In case you missed it, Popeye’s has been popping off on Twitter lately.

Last week the target was McDonald’s, which had just launched a product preview for its new crispy chicken sandwich. Popeye’s promptly bought up 50 URLs slightly different spellings than the official McDonald’s sandwich site and gave away 10,000 of its own bestselling sandwiches. Most recently, the chicken chain took a bite of Taco Bell, which just announced that it’s joining the ongoing fast food wars with a fried chicken taco. The folks at Popeye’s didn’t take well to this either, responding with a TikTok video offering up a recipe for a “secret menu item” that was – you guessed it – a fried chicken taco.

So is this all a bunch of gentle jabbing? Yes, but it’s also a reflection of Popeye’s social media prowess, which it further proved when it climbed 25 spots in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants. The TikTok video, for example, taps into using a robot voice to narrate – a very of-the-moment trend on the platform, and the entire video is seasoned with the dry humor that TikTok is known for. The Twitter targeting is also a testament to Popeye’s position as the first restaurant to kick off the chicken sandwich battle back in 2019. At the same time, the brand retained its playful image by never once dropping a single competitor name, instead noting simply that “the bar has been set high for what customers expect from a quality chicken sandwich.”