How Popeyes quickly responded on TikTok, and in person, after chicken was thrown at Harry Styles

Chicken nuggets were tossed at the pop star at Madison Square Garden, giving the chicken brand an opportunity.

Popeyes employees at Harry Styles' concert at Madison Square Garden.
Popeyes enthusiasts (with signs) were sent to Harry Styles' concert after the chicken-throwing incident.

NEW YORK: After chicken nuggets were thrown at pop star Harry Styles during a show at Madison Square Garden last month, Popeyes sent fans to his performance a few nights later with an important message. 

Styles, a vegetarian, responded by apologetically telling the crowd, “I don’t eat meat.” A few days later, Popeyes sent five people dressed in Popeyes attire to a different Styles concert at MSG. They carried Popeyes-branded signs reading, “No air time for this nugget,” “It’s love that chicken, not throw that chicken,” “You don’t have to love us, we love you,” “We always have seafood” and “Made for eating, not for throwing.”

“As a brand, Popeyes is always looking to insert itself into key cultural moments within food, music and lifestyle,” a spokesperson from Alison Brod Marketing + Communications, Popeyes PR partner, told PRWeek via email. “When Popeyes noticed the massive amount of attention the chicken-throwing incident received, the brand worked in tandem with its creative agency, Gut, on a quick and witty response.”

The stunt was a hit with many fans at the show, several of whom posted about the experience on Twitter. And Styles even gave the Popeyes group a sign of approval during his set, said the PR agency spokesperson. 

Following the concert, Popeyes shared an image of one of the signs on its Instagram and Twitter feeds. The brand also posted a TikTok video detailing the concert takeover, which has since amassed over 3.3 million views.

@popeyes

Our chicken is 100% lovable, and 0% throwable.. especially for pop stars. ��

♬ original sound - Popeyes

“Here at Popeyes, we are all about chicken mastery, and we aim to always bring our guests the best fried chicken, something we’ve done for 50 years,” Popeyes president Sami Siddiqui said in an emailed statement. “Music is a huge part of the Popeyes brand, especially with our roots in New Orleans, so we felt that this was the perfect opportunity to authentically jump into the conversation and have some fun.”


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