AMC is once again using its fictional Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant to promote Better Call Saul. From August 20-22, fans in Los Angeles and New York City can order a special mini meal of fried chicken and curly fries, then have it delivered for free.
The activation is a partnership between AMC and delivery service Postmates to promote the fourth season of Better Call Saul—a prequel to the hit Breaking Bad TV show. Deliveries will be available at 12 p.m. local time each day and will continue while supplies last. Delivering meals from the famous chicken restaurant allows viewers to feel somewhat immersed in the show’s lore.
To fans of the two shows, Los Pollos Hermanos is as much of a character as Walter White or Saul Goodman are. Last year, AMC launched a pop-up of the restaurant in select locations including Austin, Los Angeles and New York City. During SXSW, guests lined up to get free curly fries and branded soda cups, as well as see actors from Better Call Saul. Thanks to partnerships with local restaurants, this is the first time fans can get chicken, too.
Chicken and curly fries delivered for the promotion arrived in branded containers as if they originated from the real Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant. So far, the activation has yielded numerous social media posts that show off the Los Pollos Hermanos branding. Some even pretended to have met the manager Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito).
AMC’s marketing team works closely with the Better Call Call production staff to make sure every detail of these activations is in line with the show.
“Being authentic is incredibly important to us,” Theresa Beyer, senior vice president of promotion, activation and partnerships at AMC Networks told AList. “If we don’t work closely with [the show’s production team], there’s a really good chance of not being authentic. Fans know it the second you are not authentic and they will call you out for it. I would never want to disappoint those fans.”
Beyer explained that her team follows the beats of the show and caters marketing around story developments. The traveling restaurant was conceived last year, for example, to coincide with Fring’s debut on Better Call Saul.
The best ingredients. The spiciest spices. Definitely nothing illegal. That's the Los Pollos Hermanos promise. And starting Monday, you can get a mini-meal of their fried chicken & curly fries delivered for FREE in NYC and LA – only on Postmates, courtesy of @BetterCallSaul. pic.twitter.com/cn55PDJ9ni
— Postmates (@Postmates) August 18, 2018
“We’ll always use traditional marketing methods but this sort of fan engagement does something that billboards and digital ads can’t,” said Beyer. “[With activations like the Los Pollos Hermanos delivery] we can provoke emotions and engagement in a way that goes beyond media buys. That makes it a very fun way to communicate.”
In addition to the delivery activation, AMC is continuing another marketing tradition from Better Call Saul season three—training videos. On Monday, the network debuted a security training video for Madrigal Electromotive—a fictional business from the two shows—hosted by Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks). The video playfully ties into the plot of the show, when Mike takes his security consultant job more seriously than his “employers” expected.
Last year, the network launched a series of employee training videos for Los Pollos Hermanos starring Esposito that covered topics like communication, cleanliness and what to do in an emergency.
Based on what happens on the show, Beyer and her team may continue to use Los Pollos Hermanos, Madrigal Electromotive or something else to engage fans in the future.
“We’re going to follow the beats of the story because we want to be able to get fans excited about what’s coming up in the season and I think the best way is with some big activation or promotion or partnership that gets them deeper into the story,” said Beyer.
Postmates is making a name for itself in the $20 million food delivery market and partnering with AMC is a good way to generate some buzz. The start-up recently added 100 markets nationwide and has made a number of strategic brand partnerships including Walmart and Jack in the Box.