The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

OFF-TOPIC Popeyes Sandwich: Amazing Product, Marketing, or a Bit of Both?

AgainstAllOdds

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 26, 2014
1,991
11,781
2,426
27
Chicago, IL
Two weeks ago no one was talking about this sandwich. Then last week, everyone everywhere started losing their minds over it.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiwHmtoLR-k


Live bands: Its Lit: They Really Got A Live Band Inside Popeye’s Over These Chicken Sandwiches!. Fights over sandwiches: popeyes sandwich fight - YouTube. Lol. Janet Jackson with a police escort getting a sandwich.

Since then, the sandwich has been "sold out" everywhere. If you try to get a sandwich today, chances are you won't get one.

On social media, all the posts are comparing Popeyes to Chick Fil A. Not Wendy's with their Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich (pretty good). Not McDonald's with their $2 Jalapeno McChicken (the best value there is). But comparing it to Chick Fil A -- the best of the best in terms of fast food chicken.

In a span of one week, Popeyes has gone from being considered one of the worst fast food joints, to one of the best, on Chick Fil A level.

My conspiracy theory: the sandwiches are not actually sold out. The scarcity is artificial. The media campaigns were pushed out by an official team. Janet Jackson was paid to get a sandwich with a police escort. After that, the hype took off by itself, and we're bearing witness to one of the greatest fast food marketing ploys in modern time.

Thoughts?
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Bearcorp

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 2, 2012
367
782
296
35
Australia
Not sure on the quality of the product as I haven’t had it but I’m with you on the conspiracy theory, some great PR being done for their brand. A tweet I just saw shared on a big NFL Facebook page;

9357245B-A94D-44C7-9CC3-F24C7F86B6AA.jpeg
 

Bearcorp

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 2, 2012
367
782
296
35
Australia
Been all over the internet the last few weeks, what will be interesting is how well they can capitalize on it moving forward.
 

kelvinfernandezm

Some Profound Quote Goes Here
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jan 26, 2016
372
669
283
27
Fort Worth, Texas
I went to Popeyes and they were sold out. But there's no way I'm waiting over 10 minutes in line for a stupid sandwich. Also I can't think how I can ever hurt another human being over a sandwich. It's not like I never tasted a chicken sandwich before. Once the hype is over and it becomes a part of the everyday menu people won't crave it anymore.
 

Bdenner64

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 26, 2017
264
576
252
23
Boulder, CO
Love that you shared this.

If this was indeed some marketing team's ploy than that its a brilliant case-study in guerrilla marketing.

Reddit is overflowing with meme content around this- where did it originate?

I believe the team that did ‘Bird Box’ marketing for the Netflix movie played similar tricks- spamming reddit, imgur, and IG with memes until they caught on. I mean shit, was that movie even good? Looked dumb to me but I guess that's part of the reason it caught.

Back to Popeye's I saw a picture today of two dudes who bought all the sandwiches and were trying to resell them outside the store. Another about a teen who was signing people up to vote while they waited in line.
 

Bearcorp

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 2, 2012
367
782
296
35
Australia
I believe the team that did ‘Bird Box’ marketing for the Netflix movie played similar tricks- spamming reddit, imgur, and IG with memes until they caught on. I mean shit, was that movie even good? Looked dumb to me but I guess that's part of the reason it caught.
Yep spot on, they smashed social media with it and it got a lot of press, haven’t seen it either but it was a fantastic “launch” of a movie so to speak from a marketing perspective.

Back to Popeye's I saw a picture today of two dudes who bought all the sandwiches and were trying to resell them outside the store.
:rofl: Very cool that they’ve created that level of demand thanks for sharing that! Every single thing happening at their stores now is going viral online. What would be great to know, and I guess only their marketing team and PR firm would really know, is how many influencers and situations have been set up, and how many have just caught on. That one for example would have to be just a couple of guys getting amongst the buzz rather than being staged.

Once people see stuff like this go viral everyone wants in on it, there’s a tipping point when they can lean back and high five at how their campaign then created some massive organic growth. I’ve seen Popeye related content across all sorts of places online, being an Aussie I’d never even heard of them until last week. It’s quite interesting to wear your Producer hat and watch it all happen.
 
OP
OP
AgainstAllOdds

AgainstAllOdds

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 26, 2014
1,991
11,781
2,426
27
Chicago, IL
26927

This is what the sold out menu looks like in stores. They rolled out a graphic for all the stores. This isn't a store by store basis of running out of stock, it's nation-wide.

You're telling me that a fast food chain that has chicken (the main ingredient in the sandwich), and owns Burger King can't get more buns, pickles, and sauce?
 

Bearcorp

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 2, 2012
367
782
296
35
Australia
Is there a date set yet for when it’s back? The reaction will be huge!
 

Tourmaline

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 4, 2019
433
358
129
Texas
Seems impossible for it to be high quality. That's just not how popeyes rolls, nor the standard of their employees. Most certainly seems like hype. I doubt they will ever have lines overflowing onto the street the way chikfila does.

Very interesting marketing case study however!
 
OP
OP
AgainstAllOdds

AgainstAllOdds

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 26, 2014
1,991
11,781
2,426
27
Chicago, IL

Here's another fascinating piece of marketing.

26928

The vast majority of videos are mentioning Chick Fil A in the title. Scroll through.

26929

Meanwhile, this is what a regular sandwich review looks like. Notice how NONE of them mention a competitor or a comparison sandwich?

I'm upgrading this from conspiracy to fact.

This marketing team is genius. In one week they repositioned Popeyes to be on the same level as Chick Fil A.
 

Kak

Incubator Enrollment is Open for October
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 23, 2011
5,365
21,294
4,554
Has anyone had one yet?

There is a big delta between Popeyes and Chick Fil A as far as employee quality and cleanliness of the property.

I don't think a bad a$$ chicken sandwich alone will make Popeyes relevant again. And I love both places. You can't get dark meat at Chick Fil A, but their salads and sandwiches are remarkably good.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Bearcorp

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 2, 2012
367
782
296
35
Australia
I didn’t actually know about the Janet Jackson thing I first saw some blogs and or memes relating to what I think (could be wrong) were tweets or something from Popeyes having a dig about being open on Sundays as opposed to Chick Fil A. Which I thought was an interesting angle to target from Popeyes point of view, however it could have been blogs or memes being independently created by others as a reaction to what’s been happening.

Either way those review videos are definitely leveraging off Chick Fil A, great spot :thumbsup:
 

foodiepersecond

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 2, 2019
77
60
48
Atlanta, Georgia
Two weeks ago no one was talking about this sandwich. Then last week, everyone everywhere started losing their minds over it.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiwHmtoLR-k


Live bands: Its Lit: They Really Got A Live Band Inside Popeye’s Over These Chicken Sandwiches!. Fights over sandwiches: popeyes sandwich fight - YouTube. Lol. Janet Jackson with a police escort getting a sandwich.

Since then, the sandwich has been "sold out" everywhere. If you try to get a sandwich today, chances are you won't get one.

On social media, all the posts are comparing Popeyes to Chick Fil A. Not Wendy's with their Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich (pretty good). Not McDonald's with their $2 Jalapeno McChicken (the best value there is). But comparing it to Chick Fil A -- the best of the best in terms of fast food chicken.

In a span of one week, Popeyes has gone from being considered one of the worst fast food joints, to one of the best, on Chick Fil A level.

My conspiracy theory: the sandwiches are not actually sold out. The scarcity is artificial. The media campaigns were pushed out by an official team. Janet Jackson was paid to get a sandwich with a police escort. After that, the hype took off by itself, and we're bearing witness to one of the greatest fast food marketing ploys in modern time.

Thoughts?
This was available months ago. It was only due to social media that it grew to this state and the memes didn't help. I haven't had it but the gf loved it. Definitely a good product but Popeyes is terribly slow on a normal day. They don't have the customer service skills to accommodate this craze. It will die down and just be a normal sandwich again. I've honestly never been a fan of CFA. Their service is fantastic and the milkshakes are amazing. Chicken is meh, but meh consistently. If you are near Nashville or Atlanta, go to Hattie B's instead for your chicken needs.
 

kelvinfernandezm

Some Profound Quote Goes Here
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jan 26, 2016
372
669
283
27
Fort Worth, Texas
View attachment 26927

This is what the sold out menu looks like in stores. They rolled out a graphic for all the stores. This isn't a store by store basis of running out of stock, it's nation-wide.

You're telling me that a fast food chain that has chicken (the main ingredient in the sandwich), and owns Burger King can't get more buns, pickles, and sauce?
That's exactly the same sign in the same spot here in Texas. The lady at the counter told me to come back the next day because that's when the trucks come in. Honestly this looks like a big psychology project not just from Popeye's but from marketing companies. I mean Popeye's is not a chain you go to on a daily basis so they can afford to do something like that. They probably want to know what happens when you keep turning your customers away from something they want.

If a person goes in for a second time he now he has an emotional response to the sandwich. After all he had to leave his house, use gas to drive to the store and just to find out that the sandwish is still not available. If he does it a second time now he has invested too much in the sandwich.

That's what I thought too. I big chain like Popeye's doesn't have enough chicken nationwide? Get real. Wouldn't they just buy from out of network chicken farms?

Also you have celebrities and e celebrities hyping it too. Seems like there's definitely more to it than we know.
 

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,732
11,706
2,454
United States
This marketing team is genius. In one week they repositioned Popeyes to be on the same level as Chick Fil A.
Amazing.

I've got shiny object going on now, trying to think of guerrilla marketing campaigns for myself.
 
OP
OP
AgainstAllOdds

AgainstAllOdds

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 26, 2014
1,991
11,781
2,426
27
Chicago, IL
A couple weeks later and Popeyes is still not in stock in most locations.

The marketing was amazing, however, what they didn't calculate for was the competition responding in a week. Yeah, literally a WEEK.

27211

McDonald's is promoting their new Spicy BBQ Chicken sandwich.

27212

Wendy's responded by pushing out their Bacon Jalapeno Chicken sandwich nationwide.

27213

Buffalo Wild Wings even got in with the "gourmet chain food" version.

Yet Popeyes is still not back in stock (which I still believe is by design considering that every other fast food chain was able to introduce a new product in that time).

Let this be a lesson. You can have an amazing product that people fight for, however you're not guaranteed to make money forever. The competition is always gunning, so you have to stay on top of your game.

I'm looking forward to seeing how these chicken wars turn out.
 

ChrisV

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 10, 2015
2,326
4,167
1,022
Islands of Calleja
The vast majority of videos are mentioning Chick Fil A in the title. Scroll through.

Meanwhile, this is what a regular sandwich review looks like. Notice how NONE of them mention a competitor or a comparison sandwich?
Well to be fair, it is a direct competitor trying to be a similar sandwich. I think if Burger King created a Big Mac wannabe there would likely be a bunch of videos comparing them.
 

Neng Her

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 30, 2018
215
220
158
Sacramento, ca
The only burger joint that leaves me satisfy is Mcdonalds.

the best buger is the Big Mac

the best chicken sandwich is the McChicken
 
OP
OP
AgainstAllOdds

AgainstAllOdds

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 26, 2014
1,991
11,781
2,426
27
Chicago, IL
What if the Popeyes sandwich never came back?

Think about that.

This mythical sandwich that had people beat each other up, then ran out of stock, then disappeared forever. Would Popeyes make more money or less? Would people be talking about Popeyes for years to come about the mythical sandwich?

What if it only came back in limited quantities at random locations on random days - so you had to go there to get the sandwich? Would that bring more people into the store?

What if the sandwich comes back, but with half the supply of the original launch? Then sells out again and creates more pandemonium? Will the brand value increase even more?

These are all thoughts that I believe the marketing team at Popeyes is having now. I'm eager to see how this develops.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,272
9,148
2,203
World citizen
i dunno but i really want a chicken sandwich right now
GOTCHA ! The power of brilliant marketing, whether faked or real.

Walter
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

ChrisV

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 10, 2015
2,326
4,167
1,022
Islands of Calleja
GOTCHA ! The power of brilliant marketing, whether faked or real.

Walter
yea except my experience wasn't so pleasant

the closest place who had a chicken sandwich was McDonalds

To see the unpleasant details, click here: Let's just say, the sandwich didn't stay down
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.




Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom