A Calgary chicken joint’s U.K. media play

Top Chef Canada winner Nicole Gomes gets cheeky as KFC struggles overseas.

Why would a restaurant with a single location in Calgary make a media buy in the United Kingdom?

Cluck N’ Cleaver, a fried and rotisserie chicken joint owned by Top Chef Canada winner Nicole Gomes, took advantage of some poultry-laced headlines overseas and two specific social media buys to raise its profile.

KFC has been struggling in the U.K. to keep its stores open after a change of delivery vendors slowed its supply lines. At one point during the last week, almost half of its U.K. restaurants – as many as 450 – had locked their doors. Many other locations have remained open but are serving limited menus.

British fans of the colonel’s chicken who ventured onto social media to find answers might now be served an ad for Cluck N’ Cleaver, work created by Calgary agency Wax. It expresses sympathy for their lack of finger lickin’ goodness and offers any Brit “free” fried chicken from Cluck N’ Cleaver (plus the small fee of a round-trip ticket from Calgary to deliver the goods).

The ad is also popping up on promoted social posts on Facebook and Instagram in Calgary, making sure diners who can actually get the goods have a chance to see the clever PR play. Social and OOH are the restaurant’s most frequent media buys, and the ocean-jumping plan did not mark a significant increase in spending.

“When the story broke, and all these conversations started happening around the #KFCcrisis, we saw an opportunity for the little guy to have some fun in a tongue-in-cheek way,” said Gomes, in a release.

Wax handled both creative and media duties for the execution.