Galvanized by its chicken sandwich debut, Popeyes begins building a global marketing unit

Popeyes' chicken sandwich is currently sold out across the US

Chicken brand Popeyes has dominated headlines in the US this week, scoring a reported $23m in earned media from the release of its sold out, critically acclaimed chicken sandwich. Now, hot off the heels of the launch campaign, the quick-service restaurant is courting marketers to lead its international expansion.

The Louisianan chicken store, which is owned by Restaurant Brands International (RBI), is currently searching for a global chief marketing officer – a new position for the company.

Fernando Machado, the global chief marketing officer of fellow RBI restaurant Burger King, has been “quietly overseeing” worldwide marketing for Popeyes until recently, Adweek reported, supported by the head of North America marketing, Bruno Cardinali

Now, the company is looking for a marketer to take on the role full-time. In a job description, Popeyes said it was looking for someone to “[lead] the charge when it comes to international expansion” while providing “strong marketing guidance to the US market”.

The brand has ambitious plans to expand internationally, having largely contained itself to the US and Canada since its 1972 launch. However, recent years have seen it launch onto the fast-food franchise scene in 25 countries, including South Africa, the Philippines and Brazil.

Popeyes plans to launch in “many more markets” in the coming years, with China and Spain highlighted as two countries primed to receive a competitor to Yum Brands' KFC.

The brand is additionally hiring for a marketing chief for Popeyes EMEA to “achieve short term aggressive growth targets” and “build the Popeyes brand equity in the region”.

The company also stated its plans to revamp its adverting strategy, visual identity and restaurant image in order to grow the brand, as well as promising a “pipeline” of product innovation in the coming years.

“We want people to love our brand just like they love our food,” it wrote in a job spec, “and that’s why we need a strong marketing team.”

RBI did not respond to The Drum’s request for comment.

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