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Of course you know, this means war!

Flashback Friday

Friday, 11 April 2014

From the war of the supermarket giants to the Samsung/Apple smartphone feud, the retail marketplace is a battlefield. Relentless campaigns and catchy TV ads fly across food courts, over escalators and into our homes like swords and arrows on a medieval battleground. When a fierce war for the best Angus Beef Burger broke out in 2006, Oporto was under pressure to join the fight. It reminded us a little of the conflict we used to see between Foghorn Leghorn, Barnyard Dawg and Henery Hawk. "Now pay attention to me boy, I'm not just talkin' to hear my head roar!"

Oporto is a much loved Australian brand that has been specialising in quality chicken burgers and chicken products since 1986. Back in 2010 it had over 120 stores in Australia and had recently swooped in on the international market, having opened stores in China, New Zealand and the UK.

At the time, the two meat powerhouses McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s were engaged in a bitter war over the Angus Beef Burger. Oporto was faced with a difficult decision. To fight, or to chicken out.

SMART’s challenge was to bring Oporto back to its rightful place in the hearts and minds of consumers. Through strategic research, the brand’s core values were highlighted: to be ‘Australian’, ‘honest’, ‘carefree’ and ‘great taste’.

SMART came up with a strong creative approach that emotively captured all of these elements while retaining retail selling ability. The approach surrounded the idea that good food eaten on the run can help both complete memorable moments, and also bring those moments back by association by eating the food... even if you’re sitting in a food court.

After uncovering the core brand values, the people at Oporto had a realisation: they were too chicken to engage in a beefed up Angus war. In an open letter to McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s, CEO Jeff Fisher wished the two “meatheads” the best of luck in their duel over the Angus Beef Burger, and announced that Oporto didn’t want to fight because, well, “we’re chicken.”

Through the open letter press ad, outdoor print, web, and Facebook, Oporto stood up for who they were: just chicken.

Fast forward to the present and McDonald's and Hungry Jacks are trying to steal back their market share with their own super sized chicken offerings. So in the words of our favourite chicken, Foghorn Leghorn, "You gotta - I say, you gotta keep on your toes. Toes, that is."

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Do you have a favourite character albeit chicken, beef or vegetable?  Tell us on our Queensland or Melbourne Facebook pages.