Marketing: A field where the opportunity for creativity is nearly unlimited. Sometimes, a marketing campaign transcends the realm of advertising and becomes a piece of art, a commentary on society, a political statement, or a hilarious troll on competitors.

Popeye’s Emotional Support Chicken

Popeye’s launched an Emotional Support Chicken meal pack at their location in the Philadelphia International Airport. The idea was to give hungry travellers some extra support during the busy holiday travel season.

Popeyes emotional support chicken marketing

Playing on the spike in outrageous emotional support animals (like this woman, who tried to bring an emotional support peacock onto her flight) the Emotional Support Chicken was a clever way to poke fun.

Jim Beam’s JIM

Jim Beam’s JIM is the “first-ever smart decanter”. Think Alexa and a Kentucky bartender had a baby with a penchant for bourbon. JIM the decanter doesn’t do much besides pour Jim Beam shots and entertain you with its southern drawl (voiced by Master Distiller, Fred Noe) – when you ask it essentially any question, it answers by suggesting you have a drink.

Jim Beam JIM Ad

JIM is equal parts a clever commentary on our tech-heavy society (our generation is guilty of some of the most ridiculous devices and tech-habits) and a novel gift idea, for those who love bourbon and AI.

Burger King’s The Whopper Detour

We could write an entire post on Burger King’s clever marketing campaigns (and maybe we will) but, one that stands out was their clever use of geolocation to troll McDonald’s.

Burger King Whopper Detour Marketing

BK launched The Whopper Detour campaign, which let people order a $.01 Whopper on their app, as long as the user was within 600 feet of a McDonald’s. The campaign solidly fits within Burger King’s prank-friendly brand, generated media attention, and let customers in on the joke.

KFC’s FCK

What happens when your business runs out of the one thing that it’s known for? You say FCK. Loudly.

KFC took a chicken shortage in the UK that was likely to sink a number of their restaurants and turned it into a marketing opportunity. They used the witty print ad below to apologize while staying on-brand and making their customer base laugh. The ad is relatable, apologetic, and humorous.

KFC FCK ad

The copy reads:
“We’re sorry. A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It’s not ideal. Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out of their way to find we were closed. And endless thanks to our KFC team members and our franchise partners for working tirelessly to improve the situation. It’s been a hell of a week, but we’re making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants. Thank you for bearing with us.”

Nike’s Just Do It campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick’s simple act of kneeling during the American national anthem triggered a devastating political divide fueled by racial inequality, splitting public opinion of the NFL down the center.

Brands typically shy away from political debates, not wanting to alienate any part of their existing audience. Nike, however, made their position widely known when they made Colin Kaepernick the voice and face of their campaign. The commercial Kaepernick narrates touches on the controversy surrounding pro-sports players who protest racial inequality and police brutality, and the simple, radical act of succeeding in the face of adversity.

Nike Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick’s message is to stand up (or kneel, in his case) for what you believe in, despite the risk. Nike’s taken it to heart with the endorsement deal, which has caused some to boycott the company.