Chick-Fil-A is celebrating its biggest promotional event of the year -- Cow Appreciation Day on Friday, July 11, which is supported by an array of agencies that include Jackson Spalding for PR, Moxie for digital and social media, and Richards Group as AOR, which is handling the cow Web site and Twitter account.
The event provides a free breakfast, lunch or dinner combo meal -- which includes an entree, side item and beverage -- to any customer who visits “head to hoof” in cow attire. Customers who are too “chicken” to go all-out in cow attire will receive a free entree of choice for wearing a cow-spotted accessory, such as a hat, scarf, tie or purse. "One women last year decorated her white Volkswagen bug with black spots when she went through the drive-thru," says Chick-Fil-A's Mark Baldwin.
Chick-fil-A's Web site, CowAppreciationDay.com, is dedicated to the event and offers in-depth details on the celebration, cow costume ideas, as well as downloadable cow spots, masks and other bovine-themed accessories customers can use to create costumes. In addition, cow costume participants are encouraged to share their Cow Appreciation Day story and pictures in a photo gallery on the site CowAppreciationDay.com. Fans can tweet pictures of their costumes using the hashtag #CowAppreciationDay.
“Every year we are amazed at the number of new customers who participate in Cow Appreciation Day, as well as the customers who make it an annual tradition with their families,” said Steve Robinson, chief marketing officer, Chick-fil-A. He added: “Reaching the one million customer mark will be a huge testament to the fun our guests have with the Cow marketing campaign, as well as their love for our food. This is the one day a year when it’s okay to dress 'udderly' ridiculous and get rewarded for it. We look forward to seeing all of the innovative costumes -- they just get better and better each year.”
Over the past three years, participation has grown 30% due to the combination of traditional, social outreach, and word-of-mouth.
The event always falls on the second Friday in July for a specific reason. "We didn't want to select an actual day because when it falls on a Sunday, we couldn't celebrate," says Baldwin. Chick-Fil-A's corporate policy mandates the stores close on Sundays to allow its workers to spend time with their families.
The Cow Campaign is the focal point of the Atlanta-based chain's advertising initiatives that include in-store point-of-purchase, promotions, radio and TV spots, as well clothing and merchandise sales. Since they first appeared on a billboard in 1995, the “Eat Mor Chikin” Cows have reached millions on television, radio, the internet and the occasional water tower. Executives are already planning for the next year's 20th anniversary celebration.