Nando’s spanks Vancouverites

The chicken restaurant chain is arming a team of Chicken Vixens with paddles to raise awareness at Vancouver's Gay Pride parade about its 'spanking new' location.

Gay Pride Parade goers in Vancouver may not know it yet, but this weekend they’ll be making like Mitch Kramer in Dazed and Confused and gettin’ an old-fashioned paddlin’.

In a stunt to raise awareness about a ‘spanking new’ location at Vancouver’s Davie and Howe intersection, Nando’s Flame-Grilled Chicken Restaurants is sending out pleather-clad street teams – the Chicken Vixens – armed with paddles and a mission to give out free spanks. The paddles are marked with the slogan ‘Take a lickin’ for chicken,’ and the brand is supporting the campaign with a social media strategy.

Here, Trina Mousseau, creative account manager at Vancouver-based Inventa, which created the campaign, explains the strategy behind it:

Where did you get the idea to paddle Pride goers?
Nando’s Flame-Grilled Chicken Restaurants’ first downtown location in Vancouver is located in the heart of the gay community and their store is brand spanking new so it just made sense that we should celebrate not only the location, but also the playful spirit of Gay Pride by offering free spanks to consumers.

Tell me about your media strategy here: what made the paddle your ideal advertising medium?
Nando’s Flame-Grilled Chicken is an adventurous, irreverent and very cheeky brand and this time we took the ‘cheek’ very literally. Pride is a cluttered environment, the paddle smacks through the clutter with a fun and memorable interaction to build buzz for the brand in this community. What’s also great is the interaction doesn’t end on the street; the spanks have a life online after the fact through our Facebook contest.

How many Vancouverites are you hoping to give a lickin’ to in exchange for some chicken?
With a team of five Chicken Vixens, we are hoping we can get at least 5,000 consumers to bend over for us.

Can you tell us more about the social media strategy? How will you be promoting the stunt and Facebook page online?
We started last Friday with a stealthy approach. First we changed our Nando’s Canada Facebook page profile pic to suggest that we were gearing up for Pride. Then we started dropping hints about the activation and sharing interesting tidbits about the brand, all the while alluding to the fact that something saucy was coming and to stay tuned. We also dropped similar hints on relevant Vancouver blogs and Facebook groups, creating buzz across the digital space. The contest was finally announced on Thursday afternoon and we have continued to engage the community in conversation, leading up to our competition, which will encourage Pride goers to upload and tag photos of themselves getting spanked by our Chicken Vixens.