October is National Seafood Month, and Chicken of the Sea is celebrating with a “Fish Called Chicken” campaign consisting of a series of 15-second digital video spots featuring a talking chicken, according to a news release.
The national advertising campaign is initially being tested in the Albany, NY, and Hartford-New Haven, CT, markets — regions that were chosen for their size, media importance and what was deemed an “above-average preference” for tuna, the release said.
The spots, which ask what the release described as a “proverbial” question, will run through October in those two markets on selected digital video platforms and will be supported by paid digital and social media. Some banner ads will include rebates for Chicken of the Sea products.
Chicken of the Sea’s new marketing push is done in “a subtle nod to past reality TV stars,” the release said, recalling a notorious moment from an MTV show starring then-couple Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica.” In one episode, Simpson questions what she’s eating, stating, “Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it’s tuna but it says, ‘Chicken By the Sea.’ Is that stupid?” The bizarre bit of speculation became immediate water cooler conversation — it surely would’ve been a viral social media moment, if the channel was popular at the time — and Chicken of the Sea is trying to capitalize on that recognition to raise its brand share around National Seafood Month.
While some consumers might not recall the “Newlyweds” gaff, which occurred in 2003, according to E! News, the spots stand on their own a fun play on the discrepancy between Chicken of the Sea’s name and its actual product. The brand actually got its name from a fisherman from the early 1900s who compared the taste and texture of albacore tuna — one of Chicken of the Sea’s main offerings — to chicken, according to the release.
Chicken of the Sea is also using the opportunity to highlight some of its business practices with a spot that shows its digital traceability program, which tracks its food from sea to table. As consumers demand more transparency in their eating options, such initiatives should come as welcome developments. The Chicken of the Sea brand was founded in 1914 and, with this campaign, is moving into more full-fledged digital video content.