The Popeyes Meme Kid Lands Super Bowl 2023 Ad With Major Fries Announcement

Ten years ago, Dieunerst Collin was innocently waiting in line for the soda machine at a Popeyes while waiting for his family's food to be ready when his life changed forever (per Know Your Meme and CNN). You might remember Collin as Popeyes kid, a popular meme from 2013. The meme started out as a Vine in which an adult man points out Collin for his similarity in appearance to then-Vine celebrity Lil TerRio. Then 9-year-old Collin, having no idea what's going on, reacts with a pouty-cheeked side-eye. The image became a popular GIF, accompanying such comments as "[w]hen your mom asks you to wash the dishes," and "when your phone rings and you're not tryna answer" (per Instagram).

All that posting and reposting has to have garnered Popeyes some free publicity. And now, after all these years, that unsuspecting child featured in the meme is getting compensated for the use of his image.

Eyes on the prize and on the fries

In a savvy move by now 18-year-old Dieunerst Collin, the former meme star has landed himself a NIL, or "name, image, and likeness" deal (per CNN). On January 8, 2023, Collin started a social media campaign to receive sponsorship from Popeyes, reaching out via Twitter to say "I just wanna talk." The social media grab worked, and days later, the chain officially sponsored the Division II college football player (per Know Your Meme). The deal was made possible through recent policy changes that allow college athletes to financially benefit from their positions (per NCAA Sports).

Now Popeyes is going to get their money's worth with a Super Bowl ad featuring the meme star, all grown up (via People). The ad opens with Collin saying "You might know me, I used to be that meme kid. And now, I'm in Popeyes big game ad." Collins pulls up to a nice house, as he says this ad has "all those things those ads have," like "a nice ride," puppies, and a celebrity meal offer. With Popeyes' Eyes on the Fries (or Pies) offer, rewards members who spend $20 during from February 6 through February 12 will receive 400 bonus points, which can be redeemed for fries or blueberry lemon cream cheese fried pies or apple cinnamon pies (per Popeyes) — keep in mind, we rank Popeyes apple cinnamon pies as the second best fast food pie out there, and it's a crowded market.