The latest chicken item with its own ad campaign is not from a restaurant.
7-Eleven on Thursday begins airing 15-second commercials with a basketball feel, aiming to get NCAA fans watching college hoops to think of the convenience chain as a place to go for hot food. One spot promotes the convenience chain's new $1.99 chicken sandwich and another focuses on its steak and cheese melt sandwich.
7-Eleven, like supermarkets and other retailers, is expanding its lineup of prepared foods to appeal to on-the-go consumers.
Along with the commercials, 7-Eleven said its plans include a new partnership with Turner Sports and Twitter called March Madness Amplify. 7-Eleven's social media campaign includes sponsoring some official in-game highlights sent out by @marchmadness and @BleacherReport. The company is also planning in-store sampling on March 18 and March 25, and giving out free Melts on April 4, the day the NCAA championship is set to be played.
7-Eleven declined to disclose its spending on the campaign, but said its marketing support on the hot sandwiches is roughly twice as much as it spends on an average food campaign.
J. Walter Thompson developed the creative and Camelot handled the media buy.
7-Eleven's chicken sandwich launch comes as a variety of restaurants have been rolling out chicken items. KFC is promoting its Nashville Hot chicken, while Shake Shack is seeing strong sales of its new Chicken Shack sandwich and Chick-fil-A this week introduced a spicy southwest salad with sliced grilled chicken.