ASK
Get millennials to start eating Popeyes bone-in fried chicken.

Fried chicken was traditionally served on the bone, but the millennial generation grew up eating boneless, unable to overcome the inconvenience and "ick" factors of bone-in.

 
 

 

THE QUICK pitch

 

 
 

CHALLENGE
Millennials snack to fulfill cravings instead of sitting down for a meal, but Popeyes requires a sit-down commitment since they only serve bone-in chicken meal-style.

OPPORTUNITY
Snacks provide a temporary fix, but they can't satisfy your craving like a fried chicken meal. Popeyes can let them fully commit to their indulgence.

INSIGHT
To many fried chicken lovers, the best thing about the bird isn't the meat - it's the skin.  Many don't realize boneless chicken is also skinless, only made with breading.

STRATEGY
Popeyes skin is the best way to satisfy a chicken lover's craving.

TARGET
The instigator of the friend group, who can always convince you to indulge.

 
 

 

THE DEEP DIVE

 

 

How DID we end up in a boneless world?

 

Millennials have been lying about their eating habits for years.  Many claim they're regulating their diets with quality healthy meals, despite QSR sales being at an all-time high for their demographic. The reality is, they're satisfying their cravings now more than ever, but our foodie health-obsessed culture has made millennials feel like they need to hide their indulgent habits

To appeal to millennials, McDonald’s overloaded its menu with premium smoothies, sandwiches, and
 salads. All of these efforts flopped.
— Business Insider
 

64% of millennials eat out at least once a week



60% say "treating themselves" is why they eat out



69% of indulgent purchases are snacks


 

CHALLENGE
Today's generation snacks to fulfill cravings instead of sitting down for a meal, but Popeyes requires a sit-down commitment since they only serve bone-in chicken meal-style.

OPPORTUNITY
Snacks provide a temporary fix, but they can't satisfy your craving like a fried chicken meal. Popeyes can fully commit them to their indulgence.

 
 

WHAT DO FRIED CHICKEN LOVERS LOVE MOST?

We watched chicken fanatics eat Popeyes to understand what makes it their go-to craving food.

 
 

KEY LEARNING
The skin was everyone's favorite part.

  • They love the meat, but the skin is the star.
  •  One participant even peeled his off to save "the best part" for last.

Click to watch them talk about their favorite part.

 
 
 

INSIGHT
Boneless means skinless.

  • Boneless chicken is only made with breading.
  • Most people don't realize they aren't getting their favorite part when they go boneless.
 
 

STRATEGY

Popeyes skin is the best way to satisfy a chicken lover's craving.

Use the skin to beat boneless and commit chicken lovers to their craving.


 
 

 

TARGET
The instigator of the friend group.

  • Every group has someone who spearheads the squad expedition.
  • They're loud and persuasive, often rationalizing treating themselves and convincing friends to indulge with them.
  • GOAL: convert them from boneless to bone-in

Scroll to learn more about instigators, targeting tactics, and creative thought-starters.

 
 

METHODOLOGIES

Eat-Along
7 fried chicken lovers ate
Popeyes while we filmed

1-1 Interviews
15 folks opened up
about their indulgent habits

Social Listening
Facebook Audience Insights,
Simmons, Crimson Hexagon

Research Reports
Mintel, Hoovers, Thrillist,
Business Insider

 
 

WHAT I LOVED MOST ABOUT THIS CASE STUDY was

...the real "aha!" moment we had.

Nick and I watched eat-along participants talk about the skin, at one point comparing boneless chicken skin to bone-in chicken skin.  That's when we realized: boneless chicken doesn't have any skin, but everyone thinks it does.  We knew right away it was our way to win.


 
 

This project was given to us by GSD&M with a two-week turnaround. 

Strategy  Katherine Gannon and Nick Spinner