IRVINE, Calif.–April 29, 2002– El Pollo Loco today announced the debut of a new Hispanic advertising campaign. The new commercials build on the momentum of previous campaigns, which contributed to three consecutive years of record system-wide sales for the Mexican chicken chain and a combined sales increase of nearly 20% for the three-year period.
The new campaign introduces consumers to Loco, an affectionate and slightly impulsive animated spokesbird, who appears in commercials alongside Pepe, an El Pollo Loco cook. Radio and television commercials reinforce the brand through the interaction between Loco and Pepe. Loco’s frenetic, yet endearing personality is a humorous juxtaposition to the proud, confident and reassuring Pepe.
The campaign will feature fifteen and thirty-second television spots. The first debuts April 29th in select West Coast markets and focuses on El Pollo Loco’s special, limited time offer: 10 Legs and Thighs for $6.99. Knowing that this will be a popular offer and obsessed with making sure there is enough chicken, Loco exclaims, “We need to put more chickens on the grill.” Pepe responds with a reassuring, “Don’t worry Loco,” reinforcing his complete control over the chicken he so proudly grills.
Each new spot will begin with a similar set up that conveys urgency around El Pollo Loco’s latest offer. Each will end with Loco planting a wacky, cartoon-like kiss squarely on Pepe as a gesture of appreciation for always being able to count on him. Loco will also close each spot by exclaiming, “iAy Ay Ay, Que me vuelve Loco!” As El Pollo Loco’s new tagline, the phrase combines a frequently used expression with the way people feel about El Pollo Loco’s chicken — the taste drives them crazy.
El Pollo Loco’s new creative direction is a departure from last year’s campaign, which focused on the unique ways people experience the taste of El Pollo Loco. The new campaign continues the chain’s focus on its signature chicken and fresh Mexican offerings, while introducing consumers to a memorable relationship between Loco and Pepe.
“Together, Loco and Pepe demonstrate how El Pollo Loco helps solve the family’s meal challenges,” said Margaret Jenkins, vice president of marketing for El Pollo Loco Inc. “Loco’s excitement combined with Pepe’s calm, controlled manner provides the right balance to reinforce with families how El Pollo Loco is always there for them.”
The new spots will run periodically during the year in select West Coast markets including Southern California, Northern California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. In addition to television commercials, the campaign will feature 60 second radio spots that also feature Loco and Pepe.