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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

Popeyes Marinating Machine

Finalist in Food & Beverage


Popeyes chicken is delicious–this is a fact. But few know it's because they marinate their chicken for 12 long hours in Louisiana spices. That's a lot of flavor. Our goal was to generate awareness of this marinating process, while also keeping the Popeyes brand top of mind.

Strategy and Execution

Popeyes partnered with advertising agency GSD&M to create the Marinating Machine, a 13-foot-tall chicken leg that let's humans experience 12 hours of Popeyes flavor in 1.2 minutes. The pod was equipped with an immersive movie-watching chamber, a custom massage chair and Popeyes signature scent. We brought the activation to Shaky Knees Music festival in Atlanta where we captured people's experience to use for short-form social videos across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. As they waited in line, festival goers snapped selfies with the giant chicken leg and eventually a headshot that was featured in their personalized video inside the Marinating Machine experience. The longer they marinated, the more flavorful the experience became. Once they were officially delicious, participants were them emailed a shortened gif of their personalized video to share on social. Popeyes also partnered with Live Nation to use social listening to find influencers posting within the geo-fenced festival grounds and offer them VIP passes as an incentive to visit the on-site activation.

For those who couldn't marinate in person, we created a digital version of the Marinating Machine with a Facebook Canvas ad that let people climb aboard and experience the whole activation virtually. As they watched the marination video, users could tilt their phones left and right to see real people's reactions from inside the Marinating Machine. Social executions also included Snap Ads and a first-person POV Instagram Story Ad.


With a primary KPI of reach, the campaign successfully delivered over 82.2MM impressions and reached 20.3MM unique people. Facebook recognized the Canvas ad as a Success Story on their site due to the extraordinarily high time spent of the tilt-to-pan video. Users spent an average of 37 seconds engaging with the Canvas ad. Videos across other social channels also proved to engage our attention-strapped audience with a 25% Video Completion Rate.


Video for Popeyes Marinating Machine

Entrant Company / Organization Name

GSD&M, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Entry Credits