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Popeyes Focuses on Festive With Cajun Chicken Spots <b></b>

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Atlanta-Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits is considering howit can expand its new "Cajun Chicken Festival" ad themeto other parts of the business, including restaurant openings,catering and packaging.

The chain is convinced the new theme delivers a strong,Cajun-focused message, and it plans to start shooting a secondphase of TV spots later this year to reinforce Popeyes' image."We've had a very good response from our franchisecommunity to the Cajun festival concept," says PhilipFogleman, director of advertising for the 3,600-unit chain."Popeyes is very fortunate in that it's a brand with aunique positioning in the quick-service and chicken segments of themarket. The New Orleans profile makes it unique."

Popeyes wants to extend the theme so that it covers"marketing on every level," Fogleman says. "We havea lot of possibilities. Instead of a grand opening, you have aCajun chicken festival grand opening. We're working oncatering. You're not getting chicken; you're throwing aPopeyes chicken festival when you have a catering event."

The chain is also exploring changes in its packaging "tomake it look like it's from a Cajun chicken festival,"Fogleman says.

The first ads under the new theme broke recently and were shotin New Orleans. They were staged like a Mardi Gras-style festival,complete with a Miss Popeyes and a King of Chicken presiding asfestival patrons, tossing biscuits down from balconies. The adsalso include two "biscuit heads" who said they gotmarried at the chicken festival, and a concert featuring a funkyversion of the "Love That Chicken From Popeyes" theme."We like the Cajun funk version; we think it's cool,"Fogleman says. "We wanted to shake things up a little so theadvertising is more memorable in the third and fourth months of thecampaign." A rap version of the song was also recorded, andfranchisees in urban markets are expected to use it in their ads.-Nation's Restaurant News

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