Grill flames lose their minds as El Pollo Loco adds meat to menu

Posted on Tue Jan 19 2010

Fast-food chain El Pollo Loco has done more with its new ad campaign than just introduce steak to a menu that's featured only chicken for 30 years. The California-based restaurant has given us a Bumblebee Man for a new decade in the form of a dancing guy dressed like a red-hot flame mackin' on some carne asada. There are a lot of flamers (in the literal sense) in this Spanish-language spot, launching today from Cruz/Kravetz: Ideas in L.A. But I'll go ahead and predict who the breakout star will be. I see a variety show on Telemundo in his future, sponsored, of course, by the "crazy chicken" chain. The campaign touts the brand's long-time position—that its flame grilling makes for better tasting and healthier quick food. To hammer the point, there's a figure entirely engulfed in flames in the English-language spot, from Krueger Communications in L.A., but I think his/her crossover potential is limited. Stunt work, maybe.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

El Pollo Loco accuses KFC executives of 'pathetic' prank calling

Posted on Tue May 5 2009

El Pollo Loco's grilled-chicken challenge to KFC, which started off as your run-of-the-mill goading campaign, is actually getting interesting—thanks to some apparently boneheaded moves by KFC execs. Since KFC entered its turf, EPL has repeatedly asked its rival to participate in a grilled-chicken taste test to see whose product is better. KFC still hasn't officially responded. But this video alleges that execs from KFC corporate have been calling EPL's consumer-hotline number at (877) EPL-STEVE and leaving messages pretending to be ordinary folks impressed by KFC's new grub. The execs pretend to be from California, but the caller ID suggests otherwise—as do their ignorance of California slang. "Prank calls from KFC. How professional. Guess if they had better grilled chicken, they wouldn't be so chicken," the video concludes. KFC doesn't seem to be taking the allegation seriously. A rep there even worked a pun into her response telling Chain Leader magazine, "We're 'grilling' our employees to see if any have been doing any undercover dialing."

—Posted by Elaine Wong

El Pollo Loco and KFC gear up for the great grilled-chicken wars

Posted on Mon Apr 27 2009

Holy smoke. The chicken wars have gone up in flames. Flame-grilled chicken restaurant El Pollo Loco has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged its new competitor in the category, KFC, to a taste test. (Yes, the Colonel makes grilled chicken now.) El Pollo Loco CEO Steve Carley issues the challenge in the video shown here. And you will have a chance to compare them. KFC is doling out free, juicy pieces of its new menu item today; El Pollo Loco has its own free giveaway scheduled for Tuesday. This challenge has gone to the, er, birds.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Ok, seriously, it's time to stop making 'stimulus package' ads

Posted on Tue Mar 24 2009

OK, maybe it's really time to declare a moratorium on all these advertising and marketing campaigns that evoke the stimulus package. With this ad from fast-food chain El Pollo Loco, the trend has officially jumped the shark. In the commercial, Pollo Loco CEO Steve Carley announces the formation of The Dinner Party (yuk yuk) and bats away a question about pork by stating, "We don't do pork" (groan). The thing is, the news media has moved on from the stimulus package to AIG bonuses and the Obama administration's planned seizure of non-bank financial companies. The stimulus bill is so February.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman



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