An Advertising Milestone for Chick-Fil-A’s Cows

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Cows are the face of Chick-Fil-A's fast food chain

MICHAEL DALDER/Reuters/Corbis

It’s been 16 years since Chick-Fil-A first turned to cows to sell its chicken.

In the mid-1990s, the Atlanta-based company partnered with the Dallas-based Richards Group to launch an ad campaign all about how opposites attract. The Dallas Business Journal reports on how the ad agency celebrated the 16th anniversary of its partnership with the fast-food giant.

“Cows have a national appeal,” agency founder Stan Richards told the Journal, “and everybody empathizes with a cow because of their enlightened self-interest — by telling people to eat chicken, a simple idea that resonates with people.”

Even after 16 years on the market, the cows still resonate with Chick-Fil-A fans. And that has meant a big bump in income for Richards. The Dallas Morning News reports that since the two companies got together, Richards’ annual retainer fee from the cow-based deal has turned in a more than sixfold profit.

Social media is a big part of that beef binge. Log on to Chick-Fil-A’s current web site, and there’s little chicken to see beyond the distinct “C” in the chain’s logo and the company’s products food products. The cows make their mark on Facebook and Twitter. They also branch out into foursquare and their own domain.

In the meantime, t-minus three days until the new spicy chicken sandwich hits the menu.

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