Chicken Treat New Product Launch: “Marketing Genius”

    Since 1976, Chicken Treat has been an iconic WA favourite with more than 55 stores throughout the State. The beloved brand is known for serving up delicious rotisserie chicken, burgers, and fried chicken, along with its famous chips.

    In 2020, to start conversations and help raise awareness of its refreshed menu, branding, and store fit outs, Chicken Treat launched a new product – a donut burger featuring chicken breast fillets, two donuts to replace the bun, and a combination of cola BBQ sauce and cheese. It was dinner and dessert in a single bite.

    David Harrison, Head of Marketing at Chicken Treat said: “Being an unconventional brand, we like to offer items you can’t buy at other restaurants. Food trends show people are obsessed with Frankenfood creations, so our strategy was to create an Australian-first – a donut burger.”


    Product launch

    When launching a new product, the first goal is to create hype and excitement to persuade food lovers to pay a visit to Chicken Treat during the campaign and purchase a donut burger. Mr Harrison said the aim was to surprise and delight customers with a unique taste experience and introduce West Australians to the broader menu offering.

    While Adoni Media had previously collaborated with Chicken Treat on several successful campaigns, including the ‘Chicken Heroes’ branding repositioning project, this presented an exciting opportunity to think creatively to devise a PR strategy that would result in extensive media coverage.

    Western Australia’s greatest job

    The first phase was to create a news opportunity in the lead up to the product launch to create hype and let West Australians know when the burger would be coming to Chicken Treat stores.

    Adoni worked with Chicken Treat to create a job opportunity with ‘burger taste testers’ hired to help perfect the burger and add the final touches to the product before it officially launched in store. This unique opportunity presented the perfect storyline, garnering attention as “Western Australia’s greatest job”.

    As soon as we released media around Chicken Treat’s job advertisement, the response was astounding. Within hours, the media release caught the attention of television, print, and radio news outlets, not only across Western Australia but nationally and internationally. Social media platforms were abuzz with excitement, and the coverage triggered an overwhelming influx of nearly a thousand job applications in just three days.

    “Clearly there was interest in this new product, even though it was clouded in secrecy. We hadn’t revealed what the tasters were testing, just stating it was a new burger set to launch in a fortnight,” Mr Harrison said.

    The Donut Burger launch

    The Adoni team organised a media event for the day the Donut Burger was launched. Journalists were invited to a Chicken Treat restaurant where they had an opportunity to interview CEO Mimma Battista, engage with the two lucky “taste testers”, and capture photographs and footage of the donut burger firsthand. Most importantly, they got to taste the Donut Burger for themselves, and interview other lucky diners who were also indulging.

    A Video News Release was also filmed leading to media coverage across regional WA and Queensland, including two news stories which aired in Bunbury and Rockhampton.

    To ensure the widest reach and engagement, the team arranged for the donut burgers to be delivered to popular radio station 6PR, where the Drive presenters and producers indulged in a live on-air tasting. The launch of the donut burger was hailed as “marketing genius” on social media platforms, and the extensive media coverage boosted its popularity to such an extent the burgers quickly sold out.

    The results

    The story achieved remarkable visibility, securing coverage on all three major commercial television networks, as well as regional TV news. The West Australian newspaper devoted a near-full page to the story, accompanied by a captivating photograph, while numerous online articles garnered national and even international attention.

    It also created long-lasting brand recognition for Chicken Treat and solidified its personality as a “jester brand”, one that has fun and creates quirky products that people love to talk about.

    In a client review for Clutch, Mr Harrison wrote: “Their [Adoni Media’s] content and production quality was solid as was their ability to generate and deliver local and national PR across the pre-launch and launch phases.

    “The project required a lot of coordination and meetings given the number of stakeholders. Adoni was very thorough with their process and communication with our team to bring the project together.”

    In two weeks, Adoni Media achieved 30 stories, with an audience reach of more than 882,000 people. The story even attracted international attention from London’s Daily Mail. The coverage had a value of more than $115,000.

    Continued relationship

    The Adoni and Chicken Treat teams continue to have a close working relationship. Most recently, Adoni supported Chicken Treat during its expansion to the East Coast, securing extensive media coverage. It began with numerous Weather crosses on top-rating Sunrise on the day the Western Sydney store opened, as well as more than 50 media stories nationally. This resulted in an audience reach of more than 8.5 million, and media coverage worth more than $1.5 million.

    Leisa was pivotal in raising the profile of Chicken Treat and myself,” Chicken Treat CEO, Mimma Battista, said.

    “As a CEO, I have great respect for the Public Relations business she has built and the results she has and continues to deliver for her clients. Leisa’s drive and commitment is to be admired and commended.

    “You are a true champion of excellence and an absolute delight to work with.”