Scotty McCreery’s love affair with Bojangles’ fried chicken and sweet tea was evident from his first appearances on “American Idol.”
The Charlotte-based fast-food chain sent him care packages of its products when he was in Hollywood. He wore an “It’s Bo Time!” T-shirt on national television. And his fellow finalists sampled Bojangles’ backstage during stops on the “Idols Live” concert tour.
So it was only a matter of time before McCreery and Bojangles’ made their long courtship official: The 2011 “Idol” winner began appearing Thursday in radio and TV commercials for the chain. It’s his first big solo endorsement since leaving the “Idol” brand.
“It was a mutual thing,” McCreery said in an interview Thursday. “They’d seen how much I liked the store and the product and the food.”
Randy Poindexter, senior vice president of marketing for Bojangles’, said in a statement that the company and McCreery, a Garner native and freshman at N.C. State University, share “a unique Southern style.”
“I’m especially proud to partner with a young man who embodies the same values of community and family that are the heart of the Bojangles’ culture,” Poindexter said.
Financial details of the relationship weren’t released, but McCreery said he and his band get gift cards to Bojangles’ restaurants. The company has more than 500 stores, mainly in the Southeast, and McCreery can rattle off where many of them are.
He likes eating there – a lot. As a Garner High School senior, he said, he sometimes went daily. Now, when not on the road, he may go three or four times a week, he said.
There are two 30-second TV spots:• “Show Time” features McCreery and his band backstage at a concert. (Yes, those are his actual band members, McCreery said.) When they are told by a stage manager that it is show time, McCreery corrects him to say, “It’s Bo Time!”
• “Bojangles’ Town” features a remix of McCreery’s “Water Tower Town” single, adding images of a Bojangles’ meal to other small-town scenes.
The two radio ads feature McCreery talking about the flavor of Bojangles’ chicken and about missing the restaurants when he is away from the Southeast.
Free holiday download
Besides the commercials, McCreery will be featured on posters and other displays in Bojangles’ restaurants. And starting Nov. 26, Bojangles’ will give fans codes where they can go online and get a free download from McCreery’s new holiday CD, “Christmas with Scotty McCreery.”
McCreery said he’s happy with the success of the CD, which debuted last month at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. (It’s now ranked No. 21.) And he’s looking forward to his next nonholiday CD, which he expects to come out next year, probably in the second quarter.
His first CD, 2011’s “Clear As Day,” went platinum, selling more than a million copies. McCreery, who didn’t write any of the songs on his first album, said he’s listening to a lot of songs submitted by other writers to get the best ones on the next CD. He hopes to have one of his own on the album, too.
Finding ‘right songs’
“While in the last year I had a platinum record and won awards and sold-out shows, I didn’t have that big radio hit,” he said. “I’ve really got to take my time with finding songs and making sure they’re the right songs for this next record.”