Popeyes duct-taped its popular chicken sandwich to a canvas for a last-minute installation at Art Basel Miami Beach. The fast-food chain’s goal? To parody an original art installation titled “Comedian,” which consisted of a banana plastered to a wall via one strip of duct tape. After the duct-taped banana went viral, Popeyes quickly followed suit and deployed its own debate-triggering art.
Created in partnership with San Paul Gallery Urban Art, Popeyes’ installation, “The Sandwich,” is listed at $120,003.99. The brand describes it as “a mixed media work of art consisting of a toasted brioche bun, two pickles, fried chicken, mayo and duct tape on canvas.”
When, or if, a sandwich-art lover purchases the piece, the proceeds will benefit Popeyes Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps communities with food and support in times of need.
Burger King wanted in on the fun too, so it created an ad featuring a Burger King french fry duct-taped to the wall with a side-by-side of the original banana installation.
Popeyes inserting itself into the Art Basel scene reflects the brand’s goal to keep the conversation going around its infamous chicken sandwich.
In September, a Twitter debacle that erupted between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A led to the chicken sandwich wars, of which Popeyes was declared the winner. The social media siege led to Popeyes receiving 1.1 million mentions and 6.8 million engagements from 110,000 unique authors. A nationwide shortage of its chicken sandwich soon followed.
When Popeyes restocked its sandwich, around November, the company forgoed television ads and instead relied on paid digital and social media as well as print and out-of-home advertising.
“It was all to drive talkability on social and get coverage through PR. Normally we do a lot of TV, a little bit of digital, and really push on launch—here we have the most successful product launch since I started here six years ago, and it involved zero TV advertising,” global chief marketing officer for Burger King and Popeyes, Fernando Machado, told The Wall Street Journal.
Still riding that chicken wars wave, Popeyes today announced its partnership with UglyChristmasSweater.com to create ugly holiday sweaters featuring Popeyes’ chicken sandwich and brand colors of orange and red. The sweaters are selling online at $45 each.