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August 29, 2008

Popeyes Branding and Naming Moves Upscale

The news that Popeyes is revamping its brand name has got me thinking, Popeyes Chicken, that is.

Popeyes_logo.pngPopeyes Chicken and Biscuits is changing its name to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and will also unveil a new logo, tagline and ad campaign, but will continue on without a possessive apostrophe, which the founder once claimed he was "too poor" to afford.

The new name allows Popeyes to offer a broader menu than just chicken, to a slightly higher paying clientele. It also "reminds customers of the labor that goes into creating the brand's authentic taste."

genehackman.jpgApparently, Popeyes was not originally named after the lovable cartoon sailor, but actually after Popeye Doyle, the drunken, brawling character Gene Hackman plays in the French Connection. It was only later that the company moved to successfully acquire rights to Popeye the Sailor. The problem is that both characters are becoming distant memories to the under thirty crowd and might in fact lead to the "P" in the middle of the new logo becoming all that remains of Popeyes original brand name.

That said, Popeye may actually be a name that has dubious value. Aside from the fact that it was the name of an ill fated missile, it also has some interesting literary allusions.

For one, John Ashberry's famous poem speaks of a Popeye who was "forced to leave the country."

But most notable, Popeye is the name of one of Faulkner's most notorious villains, a character inspired by Popeye Pumphrey, a real-life criminal during the 1920s in Memphis.

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Posted by William Lozito at August 29, 2008 8:09 AM
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