Chicago-Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and KFC are placing their faith in ad agencies to jump-start their brand images and sales, a goal marketing experts said is within their grasp but not necessarily an easy task.

Within the last few weeks, Popeyes, a 1,700-unit division of AFC Enterprises, awarded its $20 million account to independent agency Cramer-Krasselt, and Yum! Brands' KFC named Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding as the agency for its $200 million account.

Popeyes' chief marketing officer, Tom Whitley, said the chain would try to broaden its customer base by targeting young adults with more contemporary TV spots than it has in the past and would downplay the Cajun heritage theme in its marketing. The 11,000-unit KFC has not revealed what it intends to do in new advertising, set to break in November. A spokeswoman said chain executives were unavailable for comment because they were traveling. An FCB spokeswoman said the agency would not discuss the campaign until it broke. -Nation's Restaurant News