Industry News | January 29, 2001

El Pollo Loco Starts 2001 with New Campaign

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1/29/01—Following two consecutive years of record systemwide sales, El Pollo Loco is taking its advertising personally in 2001 with its new "Pass the Pollo'' campaign. The new campaign focuses on the craving people have for the authentic taste of El Pollo Loco and explores the unique and personal ways they satisfy that craving. El Pollo Loco's new creative direction represents a distinct transition from prior commercials. Last year's campaign celebrated the fun and crazy ways that crowds of people demonstrate their love for El Pollo Loco to the tune of the world famous Chicken Dance. The new campaign personalizes the El Pollo Loco experience through more intimate settings, authentic salsa music, and a strong focus on the highly individual ways people enjoy the taste of El Pollo Loco. The focus has shifted from a celebration of the food at El Pollo Loco to the food itself and the personalized ways people experience it. "El Pollo Loco serves food that is authentic, honest and wholesome—real food, not fast food in the traditional sense,'' said Margaret Jenkins, vice president of marketing for El Pollo Loco. "The new campaign embraces what our customers tell us they love most about El Pollo Loco. The new commercials focus on the opportunities people have at El Pollo Loco to personalize their eating experience, whether it's rolling the chicken in a tortilla, dipping it in freshly prepared salsa, or just eating it off the bone. There is no right or wrong way to eat El Pollo Loco.'' The first new television spot of the year, "Pass the Pollo,'' debuted earlier this month and introduces viewers to a family enjoying a meal from El Pollo Loco. The camera focuses on the different ways members of the family enjoy their food. The commercial will appear in both :30 and :15 second spots and will be followed in March by a second commercial. The second spot will continue the campaign's focus on personalizing the El Pollo Loco experience, this time with teachers in a pre-school classroom that is complete with kid-sized furniture. The new spots will run periodically during the year in select West Coast markets including Southern California, Northern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas and will feature El Pollo Loco's current promotion. "Our new campaign clearly communicates the emotional connection people have to El Pollo Loco,'' said Michael Gretzinger, vice president and management supervisor of West Hollywood, Calif.-based Dailey & Associates, the agency that created the campaign. "It's all about personalization and the passion and involvement people experience as they enjoy El Pollo Loco in their own way.'' Dailey & Associates has served as El Pollo Loco's general market advertising agency since 1998. In addition to television commercials, the new campaign will feature :60 second radio spots reinforcing the "Pass the Pollo'' theme. The spots will feature the same upbeat salsa music heard in the television spots. El Pollo Loco will also introduce a new Spanish language advertising campaign this spring created by its Hispanic agency, Los Angeles-based cruz/kravetz: IDEAS.