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Church's Chicken Bows Effort For Digital Game

Karl Greenberg
January 26, 2009

Church's Chicken is broadening its effort to appeal to young, urban consumers. The company is launching a promotional campaign for a new digital game, Namco Bandai Games' hip-hop oriented "Afro Samurai.

The game, by Namco Bandai's Surge studio, will include a collaboration with Coca-Cola's "Be Heard" mobile promo. The nine-week "Be Heard" promotion enables customers to text a code on their mobile devices for coupons and a chance to win $1,000 in cash to be awarded on a weekly basis.

The Atlanta-based franchise is the category-exclusive sponsor of the game for the quick-service restaurant category. The game goes on sale today for Xbox 360 and PlayStation, with national TV and radio advertising on urban young-adult channels and outlets, in-store merchandising and promotions.

Church's this week launches "Afro Samurai Enter-to-Win Sweepstakes" backing Namco's own ad push. The Church's promotion dangles a $7,500 grand prize, as well as Afro Samurai-skinned iPods and a copy of the game or gaming console.

Church's last year did a similar program backing Soulcalibur IV, yielding, per the company, about 17,300 entries--20% of which requested coupons and promotional information from Church's. The fast-feeder said the Soulcalibur campaign increased traffic to Church's official Web site by an average of 30% and supplemented an increase in the brand's value combo sales.

"Gamers are an emerging loyal fan base akin to those of traditional sports like football or basketball. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 65% of American households play computer or video games. We made a strategic decision to be more steadfast in spending time, research and money in targeting to this growing influential segment," said Farnaz Wallace, EVP and CMO of Church's, in a release.

The quick-serve restaurant chain, with 1,625 stores, posted a 5% increase in sales last year to $1.15 billion, the fifth straight year of increases.

Church's has also launched a 99-cent value menu.





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