Popeyes ‘Chicken Queen’ Tells It Straight

Quick service chicken chain Popeyes has introduced a campaign featuring a feisty, truth-talking character, as part of its continued strategy of using real people in ads.

The new TV and radio spots show “Annie the Chicken Queen” promoting Popeyes chicken offerings with a no-nonsense approach. One spot touting two pieces of Bonafide chicken and a biscuit offer for $1.99 shows Annie telling a customer: “Get up off that floor . . . you heard me, sweetcakes.” Another plays up the amount of preparation Popeyes puts into its food, as Annie says: “I work my fanny off making this chicken perfect, and they practically give it away.”

Popeyes’ lead agency GSD&M Idea City, Austin, Texas, created the spots.

The character featured in the campaign is meant to highlight the brand’s personality, which is “honest, vibrant, youthful and authentic,” Popeyes CMO Dick Lynch said in a statement. “Everyone has a relative or a good friend who will give it to them straight, and that’s what Annie is all about,” he said.

Late last year, Popeyes ran a series of spots on cable TV showing a chef named Ed approaching real-life customers in Popeyes restaurants to explain to them the goodness of its Louisiana chicken recipe. GSD&M Idea City also created the ads.

“We wanted our spokesperson to be as genuine as our food,” Lynch said of the chain’s continued emphasis on using real people.

Popeyes, a division of AFC Enterprises, upped its ad spending from $38 million in 2007 to $42 million last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.