Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen launched a cheeky, humorous holiday travel campaign with its ‘Emotional Support Chicken,’ a new carrier for its three-piece chicken combo. The paper box is in the shape of a chicken with an emotional support vest and is available to those traveling through the Philadelphia Airport, one of the country’s busiest airports.
The fast-food company got their idea from travelers “pushing the envelope” and taking all sorts of animals, like peacocks, squirrels and tarantulas as emotional support animals on planes. The animals provide comfort and companionship, so it makes sense to make fried chicken—traditionally seen as comfort food—as a travel buddy.
Though it may ruffle some feathers, Popeyes says it’s all in good fun.
“We hope to bring travelers a good laugh and a hot meal to ease the stress of holiday travel,” said Hope Diaz, chief marketing officer of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.
This is not the first time Popeyes has used tongue-in-cheek marketing. In November, the QSR offered a 12-hour drive-thru in honor of its 12-hour marinating process. Fans looking for a road trip could place their order at the standalone menu board along Interstate 10 outside of Fort Stockton, Texas, but, they had to pick up their order in New Orleans—12 hours away.
Once they arrived in New Orleans, they were met with a band to rejoice their accomplishment.
Popeyes also cooked up a fancy recipe with its 24-karat gold battered chicken. The boneless wings were also dipped in champagne. Like the Emotional Support Chicken, it wasn’t available nationwide.
“Popeyes is a brand born in Louisiana, that takes pride in its heritage and authenticity. We are festive and lively, with southern charm and light-hearted humor,” said Diaz.
Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits became Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in 2008. The former chief brand officer told Nation’s Restaurant News that changing the name and logo was “just one step in elevating the brand.” He also noted Popeyes had an advantage over its competitors with its spicier option. The demand for spicier options has been blamed on millennials.
No word on if the Emotional Support Chicken will make an appearance at other airports, for now Philadelphia Airport travelers will be the exclusive patrons. The city of Philadelphia has seen its fair share of marketing fun lately.