Fast food chain Popeyes is going all in on its new partnership with three-time Grammy Award winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion, not only teaming with her on custom merchandise and an all-new Hottie Sauce but also officially designating her as a Popeyes franchisee, meaning that she’s allowed to launch five of her own Popeyes restaurants. Franchisee deals are typically in the range of 20 years, making this relationship far more notable than typical celebrity partnerships that we’ve seen with others like Taco Bell naming Lil Nas X its chief impact officer.
The Popeyes deal comes hot on the heels of Megan’s Nike partnership in which she’s serving as the fitness brand’s “Hot Girl Coach” for the “Play New” campaign. The rapper’s cultural reach continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and she’s leveraging that appeal in her first Popeyes spot portraying her as a cowgirl chasing down a masked bandit (her alter ego, Tina Snow) who has stolen her supply of Hottie Sauce. The commercial cleverly blends live acting with anime-inspired action as Megan reclaims the stolen sauce. The campaign didn’t go unnoticed by mainstream media – Vulture labeled the marketing rollout “a master class in hype and knowing your brand.”
It’s clear that Megan’s creativity is being leveraged from the start in her new Popeyes relationship. The chain seems to be more than happy to lean into her ideas. “Megan has an incredible creative vision, and she has a bunch of really fun ideas. We’re going to ensure that the restaurants are uniquely Megan,” remarked Sami Siddiqui, president of Popeyes Americas.
According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, there’s quite a bit of synergy between Popeyes patrons and fans of both rap and anime, so this marketing partnership may prove fruitful for years to come as Megan establishes herself as a restauranteur. Popeyes customers are considerably more likely to listen to rap, to watch music videos, and to watch anime than customers of competing chains like KFC and Chick-Fil-A.