MARKETING AND MEDIA : El Pollo Loco Crosses the Border for Its New Ad Campaign

Compiled by Anne Michaud, Times staff writer

El Pollo Loco--apparently speedier than fast-food competitors who pretend to run for the border--has actually crossed over into Mexico--for its ads. The Irvine-based company has filmed its newest TV commercials at Rosarito Beach.

Scenes of busy Mexican streets dominate the 30-second spots, as chefs prepare food in an open-air restaurant.

The ads, which began airing Sunday, promote the chain's new tacos al carbon and "make it abundantly clear that we're very, very different from Taco Bell, Del Taco, KFC or anyone else," said Louis Franson, the company's marketing director.

The ads, in English, were created by Irvine agency dGWB, under the direction of Mandi Dossin, vice president.

El Pollo Loco also plans to launch a Spanish-language campaign later this month, which emphasizes family dining, authenticity and value. The ads are being produced by Casanova Pendrill Publicidad in Irvine, under the direction of Peggy Goff, vice president.

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