MIAMI: Today marks one year since the chicken sandwich wars began.
It all started last summer with Popeyes tweeting “…y’all good?” in response to a Chick-fil-A tweet about its own chicken sandwich.
But the fast-food chain is so over this year. So this time around, instead of giving any competitors sass, Popeyes is asking, “2020 — Y’all Good?”
On Wednesday, it is launching a much-needed countdown to 2021 by officially kicking off the Times Square Ball Drop 4.5 months early.
The countdown will be featured in ads at One Times Square, right under the iconic New Year’s Eve ball, until the end of August. But there is no in-person event in Times Square associated with the campaign and Popeyes is not encouraging consumers to go there.
On Wednesday, Popeyes is also taking out a full-page ad in The New York Times that states, “Still 135 more days of never-ending 2020? At least we still have the sandwich.”
Additionally, Popeyes is running a TV ad with the message, “Y’all…college football postponed? Music festivals canceled? Music festivals virtual? Favorite app getting banned? At least we still have the sandwich.” The chain will also kick off a major social media push in relation to the campaign.
Further, fried chicken fans get free delivery on Wednesday.
Popeyes wants to bring “joy and lightness” to the consumers amid the pandemic with this campaign, explained Popeyes North America CMO Bruno Cardinali.
“No one would ever imagine what we are going through in the world; it is an unprecedented time,” said Cardinali. “We are done with 2020, so we are starting the countdown so we can move on.”
He added that now seemed like a “good moment” to remind people that with everything going on in the world, at least the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich exists.
When the chicken sandwich online conversation was at its peak between August 17 and September 1, 2019, Popeyes totaled 338,000 conversations, which equates to 16 tweets per minute about the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, a statement from the brand explained.
Some more fun facts about the sandwich: Popeyes sold 203 million chicken sandwiches in the past year; Texas sold the most chicken sandwiches in the last 12 months; and the most sandwiches sold by one store in one day was 3,582 sandwiches on November 3, 2019.
A major takeaway from the chicken sandwich wars for Cardinali is the importance of having an amazing product.
“This wouldn’t have happened if the sandwich wasn’t amazing,” he said.
The brand has also had a lot of learnings from a supply chain perspective, after Popeyes’ chicken sandwich sold out in just two weeks after its nationwide debut on August 12, added Cardinali.
Alison Brod Marketing and Communications is supporting this effort. Budget information was not disclosed.