After spending much of last year helping Popeyes launch its chicken sandwich, Gut Miami has officially been named the brand’s creative agency of record.
The decision ends the fast-food chain’s relationship with GSD&M, which won the account in 2008. While Gut has taken on much of the brand’s creative work and strategy in recent months, GSD&M was behind the snarky tweet directed at Chick-fil-A last summer that prompted the so-called chicken sandwich wars. In 2018, the Omnicom-owned agency helped Popeyes debut an “Emotional Support Chicken” box for weary travelers at the Philadelphia airport.
When Burger King’s global chief marketing officer Fernando Machado began overseeing marketing for Popeyes last year (the two are owned by the same company, Restaurant Brands International), he brought Gut on board to help the brand “expand the boundaries of what’s possible” and “create more cool stuff.”
Gut was founded in 2018 by Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio after the two left David, the WPP-owned agency best known for its work on Burger King. A number of David employees have since left the agency to join Gut, which has offices in Miami, Buenos Aires and São Paulo.
In the past year, Gut’s Miami office has churned out a number of campaigns for Popeyes, all of which supported the rollout of its chicken sandwich. In August, it tapped Sweet Dixie Chicken, a California restaurant that made headlines in 2017 for trying to pass off Popeyes’ chicken as its own, to preview the new sandwich before it launched nationwide later that month.
When the sandwich’s popularity led to a two-month shortage, Gut helped Popeyes mark the menu item’s return by bringing it back on a Sunday, the one day of the week rival Chick-fil-A is notoriously closed.
Earlier this year, Gut had some fun with jokes online that compared Popeyes’ color scheme with Beyoncé’s new activewear collaboration with Adidas. The agency created a Popeyes-themed clothing line in response and sold the apparel online via a dedicated website. As of now, much of the collection is sold out.
“Our favorite part of working with Popeyes is our aligned ambition,” Ramos said in a statement. “We all want to do work that shapes pop culture and gets shared and talked about, otherwise what’s the point. With Popeyes as a client we have no excuses for not doing great work. They’re fast and, most importantly, they’re brave.”