This week’s campaigns come after Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s last week launched suggestive videos on its Hot & Hand-Breaded OnlyFans channel to promote the chains’ new trio of chicken sandwiches.
“Most brands would probably blush at the thought of launching an OnlyFans channel, but we see it as a massive opportunity to reach our audience on a new, emerging platform and make our food the star,” Patty Trevino, senior VP of marketing at CKE Restaurants, the owner of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, said in a statement.
Recent results suggest there’s still quite an appetite for new entrants. Zaxby’s introduced its signature chicken sandwich in March, declaring “The Chicken Sandwich War Ain’t Over Yet,” and in late April reported it was seeing 20% higher sales since the launch.
It’s not just restaurants seeking their bites of the market. Pilot Flying J, which operates the Pilot and Flying J truck stops, this month announced two new crispy chicken sandwiches, southern and spicy.
And with the increased interest in chicken comes more news in faux alternatives. Daring Foods Inc. just raised $40 million from investors including singer Drake after introducing plant-based chicken last year. And last week, Beyond Meat said its plant-based chicken tenders would be available to U.S. foodservice operators later this year.
Back at Burger King, it aims to drive interest by giving away a Whopper with each Ch’King order on its app or website from June 3 to June 20. The idea is to let people decide which one they prefer, and comes after the chain saw fans commending its new chicken sandwich on social media.
“Our guests said it best, our hand-breaded Ch’King sandwich is our greatest yet,” Ellie Doty, chief marketing officer, Burger King North America, said in a statement. “We said we would create a delicious hand-breaded chicken sandwich that was worth the wait, we just didn’t anticipate that it would turn out quite this good.”
Jessica Wohl writes for Crain’s sister publication Ad Age.