Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

You can learn a lot from fast-food marketing.

These companies have to move quickly. They have to offer something persuasive. And they have to create loyalty in a world where so little exists.

Which means that some -- like Burger King -- can tend toward riskier tactics.

Who can forget the fascinating recent Burger King campaign where customers were photographed sleeping after they'd consumed a large Burger King meal?

Now Popeyes is entering into the controversial spirit. Well, it is owned by Restaurant Brands International, the very same company that owns Burger King.

No one -- least of all the management at Popeyes -- expected its Chicken Sandwich to be such an uproarious success.

The chain sold out of a seven-week supply within a matter of days. 

It was both exciting and a touch embarrassing.

In Greensboro, North Carolina, for example, the local Chick-fil-A manager felt so sorry (perhaps) for disappointed Popeyes customers that he gave them his own restaurant's sandwiches for free.

Oddly, Popeyes doesn't appear to share such a generous heart.

Today, November 3, it's relaunching its Chicken Sandwich.

You might wonder why it would choose November 3. 

Could it be because November 2 is El Día De Los Muertos and that wouldn't feel right? 

Not exactly.

It's because November 3 is a Sunday -- oh, and of course the exceptionally famous National Sandwich Day -- and Chick-fil-A isn't open on Sundays. For reasons of religious observance, rather than a desperate need to watch NFL games, you understand.

So Popeyes is actually mocking Chick-fil-A's Sunday closure in a cheek-tweaking ad.

Some might find this move blatantly offensive, an affront to Chick-fil-A's Christianity.

Or rather that of its owners.

Of course, no one tweaks a competitor who isn't good.

It's remarkable how many gadget companies mock Apple in their ads.

Chick-fil-A consistently scores highly for both its food and its customer service.

The fact that Popeyes is specifically targeting Chick-fil-A in its relaunch is, in some ways, a mark of respect.

Some will insist this relaunch isn't anything other than a homage to National Sandwich Day.

Which, of course, every American celebrates assiduously every year with parades and uplifting speeches. 

Popeyes does mention it at the end of the ad. In teeny, tiny letters. 

If National Sandwich Day fell on a Thursday, I have a feeling that wouldn't have been the Chicken Sandwich relaunch day.

So I wonder if Chick-fil-A loyalists will hold protests outside their local Popeyes and call the chain ungodly.

Oh, but that would be good publicity too.

Published on: Nov 3, 2019
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