Popeyes Will Pay Some Out-of-Work Musicians to Play the Chain's Jingle
Musician is already a notoriously difficult career—and without the ability for people to congregate in large groups, one revenue stream for musicians, live concerts, has been cut off by COVID-19. So how can performers make some money in the meantime? As part of a new marketing campaign, Popeyes is throwing musicians a modest lifeline as part-time jingle artists. The company is asking people to record the chain's "Love That Chicken" tune for a chance to get paid to have their version used in future advertisements.
The campaign began in Popeye's original home of New Orleans with the brand buying a full-page ad in The Times-Picayune featuring the "Love That Chicken" sheet music. "Can't play music in the streets?" the ad asked. "We're hiring local NOLA musicians to play this jingle in our ads. Apply by posting your video demo using #LoveThatJingle."
"After the reaction in their hometown, the brand decided this movement should reach far beyond NOLA to support musicians and Popeyes fans across the country," a company spokesperson stated. So starting today, anyone in the U.S. is welcome to "apply" via social media. "The brand will compensate selected musicians for their recordings and use the adaptations for communications released during these difficult times."
Interested parties can now find the sheet music online. And even though the whole concept is ostensibly aimed at out-of-work pros, Popeyes is clearly looking for amateurs, too (and not just because only non-union musicians are eligible to apply). On its website, Popeyes asks, "Want to learn the jingle but don't read music?" before offering a "play-along video" for people to jam along with. And further suggesting the brand's interesting in wooing fledgling musical talent, Popeyes even includes ten "home recording tips." (Ostensibly, most pros don't need microphone positioning tips.)
Popeyes says it will be digging through these online demos from May 1 to May 18 with selected musicians being alerted by May 25. However, Popeyes would not disclose to us how much the one-time fee will be for the selected musicians, nor the total number of jingles the brand will use in future ads.
And like any show-business professional, it's important you read the fine print: Even though some musicians will be compensated for their work, Popeyes also explains that, by submitting your rendition of "Love That Chicken," you grant the company the right to use your work whether they compensate your or not. See, I told you being a musician was tough!