In A Plump Chicken Market, Church's Offers Love

With chicken on a roll (literally and figuratively) in the U.S. due to the rising prices of beef and poultry's healthier profile, quick-serve chains of all types are pushing to grab a share of the action.

Even burger and pizza chains are launching or reviving chicken menu items. For instance, Burger King is currently promoting the return of its BK Chicken Fries, after reviving its decade-old "Subservient Chicken" campaign to promote a new Chicken Big King sandwich. Pizza Hut is promoting its Specialty Chicken entrees (boneless chicken bites arranged to look like a pizza, with various topping options), introduced earlier this year.  

Naturally, chicken-focused fast-food brands are benefitting — Technomic reported that limited-service chicken chains enjoyed 5.1% sales growth last year, versus 3.9% for all types of limited-service chains — and they're investing in new campaigns to build on the momentum.  

Church's Chicken is one of the most recent examples. The chain's new campaign, "Have the Love," from its new agency of record, Made, includes 30- and 15-second television spots; radio, out-of-home and online ads; direct mail pieces and in-store promotional materials.

All of the elements stress that Church's not only delivers value, but is made with so much care that "love" is its secret ingredient.  

“Church's has a lot of equity in value — people know it's where you can get a lot for a little," Dave Schiff, Made partner and CCO, observes to Marketing Daily. "The question is, what are they getting a lot of? What kind of quality can they expect? Few people realize that Church's Chicken is made from scratch, in small batches, every day. Just the hand-battering requires three steps. We wanted to let people know, when you put that much love into chicken, whoever's eating it is gonna get love out.” 

For example, one humorous TV ad, "Grandpa," shows an ostensibly snoozing grandfather snapping awake in order to protect his Church's chicken leg from his grandson. Tagline: "Love in every bite."

Church’s has more than 1,700 locations in 25 countries and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion.

In another recent campaign, during August, fast-growing Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (more than 1,700 locations in 47 states) promoted its limited-time Tear’n Tenderloin Chicken with a new TV ad featuring its "Annie" spokeswoman. 

In addition, Popeyes offered fans the opportunity to add their favorite tracks or original music to a "Tear'n It Up" Spotify playlist.

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