Hill, Holliday To Air New Popeyes Ads 4 Spots Introduce Redd And Zeke, The Men In Black Of Chicken

Hill, Holliday/Altschiller will reposition Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits from a purveyor of Cajun-style fast food to an outlet that provides superior tasting fare in general.
Four humorous 30-second TV spots, which break in June with $20 million in media support, introduce two G-men-like characters, Redd and Zeke. Their absurd mission: “To save the world from bland chicken,” according to Rob Reilly, senior copywriter, who developed the campaign with senior art director Mike Goldberg.
In one spot, Redd and Zeke pull urgently into a construction site where a group of beefy workers are eating lunch. One of the men, Rocco, trades up his ordinary chicken sandwich for a Popeyes sandwich, a “jackhammer of flavor.” Rocco says, “I like it, but I don’t like you,” prompting the pair to beat a retreat.
In another spot, Redd and Zeke barge into the home of a pale, catatonic family, which has settled in for another boring chicken dinner. After being treated to a box of Popeyes chicken, the color returns to the family’s barely animated faces. The campaign retains the tagline, “Love that chicken,” used in Hill, Holliday’s previous work for the client.
“Redd and Zeke are [the new] representational ‘flavor seekers,’ ” said Tom Whitley, vice president of advertising at Popeyes parent AFC Enterprises, Atlanta. “Flavor seekers” is a concept the client used to describe characters who gave comical testimonials on the Cajun flavor of Popeyes chicken in Hill, Holliday’s previous spots. The New York shop has handled Popeyes since winning a review in 1996. The Glennon Co., St. Louis, was the incumbent at that time.
The campaign, which includes radio and point-of-purchase materials, will run nationally with spot buys in major markets. Regional agencies working with franchisee groups will buy media. The new ads follow the client’s purchase of more than 80 Hardee’s restaurants and nine Bojangles’ Famous Chicken & Biscuits sites, all of which will be converted into Popeyes. The company is the world’s second-largest chicken chain behind KFC, per Technomic.