How Social Media Marketing Made a Sandwich Go Viral

“Y’all good?”

Those two words started a social media war last summer. 

When Popeyes Chicken launched their new chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A had words to say about it. Being the leading chicken fast food chain, they wanted to remind us who really had the sandwich we all wanted. (I mean, honestly, who can resist their chicken?! It. is. my. fave.)

After seeing this on Twitter, Angela Brown, social media strategist for Popeyes, bit back with “…y’all good?” 

This tweet blew up to the point that between Aug. 12 and Aug. 31 there was one tweet per second about Popeyes.

Suddenly, the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich became the most wanted sandwich on the Internet. Gayle King, Serena Williams, Justin Bieber and Cardi B are just a few of the celebrities who got their hands on the sandwich. 

That’s a lot of talk about a sandwich.

But, what really drove everyone out to get the sandwich was how fast it traveled through word of mouth. Seeing all of Twitter try this sandwich had people running out to see what the hype was about the sandwich. Was it really better than the Hall-of-Fame Chick-fil-A sandwich? 

Lines grew longer and one by one, stores started to sell out of chicken sandwiches. On social media people were on the hunt for the remaining stores that were still selling the sandwich but many were out of luck. Popeyes locations began putting up signs letting us all know there were no more sandwiches.

Only two weeks after the launch, the Popeyes sandwich sold out nationally after making an estimated $65 million in media value. Popeyes made a comeback and in November announced the return of their now infamous sandwich. Popeyes still wasn’t pulling any punches and planned the comeback on a Sunday, the only day of the week Chick-fil-A is closed. With the return came even more long lines of people wanting to get their hands on the sandwich. 

Here’s why it worked.

Using social media to market your brand or a new launch can amount to great success if done correctly. The Popeyes marketing team knew that instigating a back-and-forth with other fast food restaurants on Twitter, namely Chick-fil-A would catch people’s attention. For all of us watching, we were confused but highly amused at the tweets. Tapping into a funny or sassy brand voice online can attract people who maybe wouldn’t normally pay attention to your brand but are here for the humor. 

As a fast food chain, Popeyes was able to take that risk of employing humor. Humor is universal, yes, but it may not be the most appropriate brand voice for all organizations. Knowing how to translate your organization’s mission and values into a corresponding brand voice online is important for all brands!

Social media is a great way to spread what you stand for while also having fun with it. Learn how we can build your social media to reach your audiences.

Pin this for later 📌

  1. […] days it seems like anything can go viral on social media. Every day when you go into work, everyone is talking about this meme or that video or something […]

  2. […] why do you need this Facebook 101? Facebook takes the lead as a social media platform reaching over 60% of internet […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *