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#PRWIN: A Chilling Tale of… Chicken. #Popeye’s #Y’allGood?

#PRWIN: A Chilling Tale of… Chicken. #Popeye’s #Y’allGood?

Our #PRWINs aren’t always sunshine and rainbows – this month, our unqualified PR success is downright harrowing.

It starts with a fresh, delicious, just-hit-the-menu chicken sandwich, from Popeye’s, no less. Great.

A Twitter announcement that broke the Internet, as they say, responding to Chick-Fil-A’s chicken sandwich announcement with only two words: “y’all good?” 1 Legendary.

Cue the rush to Popeye’s to get in on some of that goodness, and then… it was all gone. Yup. America ate Popeye’s out of chicken sandwiches.

But that’s not the truly scary part. That comes next: chicken sandwich fever caused some customers to pull guns on the unlucky Popeye’s employees who had to deliver the bad news.2

Is this a fast food noir?

I don’t know, but police were called in at least two incidents where customers became irate because sandwiches had run out, and threatened with a weapon.3 #PRWIN? Great to know people are so passionate about your product?

Seriously, though, the social media blitz around the “chicken sandwich wars” as they shall always be known, between multiple fast food outlets, has given Popeye’s an unbelievable boost. Twitter subscribers increased from 106,000 to 187,00 from April until September, the brand got 1.1 million more mentions after the announcement tweet and 6.8 million engagements.4 Chick-Fil-A moved the Twitter subscriber needle from 1.03 million to 1.09 million. It seems that the competition worked (to some degree) in everyone’s favor.5

The most viral tweet among all the craziness was a man obsessing to his wife about Popeye’s new chicken sandwich, which got 337,200 engagements alone.6 And Popeye’s same-store sales growth was predicted to rise by 8% in Q3, inadvertently disrupting even other mega-events like Burger King’s Impossible Whopper release, and measurably slowing down the growth of competitors.7

Bravo Popeye’s for sticking with the plan, knowing its audience, and stepping into the ring to take advantage of the “chicken sandwich moment” rather than succumbing to fear of getting lost in the product-rollout shuffle.

Just never underestimate how people feel about their Popeye’s chicken. It’s… a good problem to have?

 

  1. Tyko, Kelly. “Who Has the Best Chicken Sandwich? Popeyes, Chick-Fil-A and Wendy’s Are Clucking on Social Media.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 20 Aug. 2019, www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2019/08/19/popeyes-and-chick-fil-chicken-sandwiches-battle-heats-up/2054989001/.
  2. Knowles, Hannah. “A Man Pulled a Gun to Demand Popeyes Chicken Sandwiches after They Sold Out.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 3 Sept. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/food/2019/09/03/man-pulled-gun-demand-popeyes-chicken-sandwiches-after-they-sold-out/?noredirect=on.
  3. Ibid
  4. Aghadjanian, Nina. “Popeyes Has Officially Won The Chicken Wars Of 2019.” AList, AList Daily, 5 Sept. 2019, www.alistdaily.com/lifestyle/chicken-wars-twitter-popeyes-chickfila/.
  5. Ibid
  6. Tyko, Kelly. “Who Has the Best Chicken Sandwich? Popeyes, Chick-Fil-A and Wendy’s Are Clucking on Social Media.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 20 Aug. 2019, www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2019/08/19/popeyes-and-chick-fil-chicken-sandwiches-battle-heats-up/2054989001/.
  7. Moore, Cortney. “Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich Has Competing Stocks Worried.” Fox Business, Fox Business, 11 Sept. 2019, www.foxbusiness.com/retail/popeyes-chicken-sandwich-has-competing-stocks-worried-according-to-wall-street-analyst.

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