Industry News | July 18, 2011

El Pollo Loco Feels the Mexcellence

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The nation’s flame-grilled chicken leader, El Pollo Loco, is firing up the brand this month through a multi-faceted campaign that includes new television and radio ads, new social media components, and new in-restaurant signage, all highlighting El Pollo Loco’s passion for flavor, expert preparation, and a quality experience.

As part of the overall brand reinvigoration, the flame-grilled chicken leader this month began airing new television commercials as part of its El Pollo Loco ¡Feel the Mexcellence! campaign. The commercials feature menu items made by hand in El Pollo Loco restaurants, including the chain’s signature offering – fresh, natural, citrus-marinated chicken grilled to perfection over flames by experienced Grill Masters backed by more than 35 years of El Pollo Loco expertise.

“This powerful multi-media campaign highlights our passion for excellence and clearly shows consumers how El Pollo Loco provides a refuge from typical fast food,” says Mark Hardison, vice president of marketing. “We start making lunch before most people eat breakfast, chopping fresh cilantro, sautéing Serrano peppers, and much more. Our El Pollo Loco ¡Feel the Mexcellence! campaign is a celebration of all things that make us great and we’re excited to shout that to the masses.”

El Pollo Loco guests will also notice a change inside restaurants with re-vamped signage and displays reinforcing the new El Pollo Loco ¡Feel the Mexcellence! theme. Even guests’ register receipts will feature something new - customized messages that play off their orders, such as, “We hope you enjoy your taquitos. We sure enjoyed making them.”

The new television ads stem from a very public commercial shoot that took place June 23, 2011, in front of the El Pollo Loco restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Given El Pollo Loco’s commitment to quality, flavor, and preparation, along with the fact that much of El Pollo Loco’s menu is already made by hand, about the only thing that could enhance El Pollo Loco’s chicken would be to make the fire used to grill it. Scenes from the day’s event are featured in the new television commercials with El Pollo Loco crew members participating in the fire-by-hand event.

Hundreds of spectators cheered as El Pollo Loco attempted to make fire by hand. El Pollo Loco chose 50 of its top crew members to vigorously pull the ropes of a massive 25-foot bow drill – a device that moves a spindle back and forth until it generates enough friction to create an ember. The goal was to generate enough friction to create fire by hand.

The El Pollo Loco ¡Feel the Mexcellence! campaign also introduces fans to a fully revamped Facebook page and an innovative Pass the Flame game that will launch July 18. To play, fans simply visit www.facebook.com/ElPolloLoco and click on the “¡Feel the Mexcellence!” tab on the left. They’ll be able to use their left and right arrow keys to create their own flame from a virtual bow drill. When the flame rises to a certain level on-screen, users will be able to pass it to their Facebook friends. After three passes of the flame, participating fans will receive a coupon. El Pollo Loco’s new Facebook page will also host videos from the making of the bow drill commercial, featuring behind-the-scenes footage.

Coinciding with the campaign launch are two enticing consumer offers: a $5 deal for El Pollo Loco’s 2-piece Leg & Thigh Combo, which comes with a choice of two classic sides and a drink, and El Pollo Loco’s whole chicken (eight pieces) for $10 with eight free tortillas. Both deals are available through the end of July.

The new multi-faceted marketing campaign is the first since El Pollo Loco announced earlier this year the selection of Hollywood, California-based goodness Mfg. as its new advertising agency of record. Following an extensive search, goodness Mfg. was picked to handle strategic marketing and communication needs for the nation’s leading flame-grilled chicken chain, including English- and Spanish-language creative (broadcast and digital), in-restaurant merchandising, and local restaurant marketing.