The Popeyes chicken sandwich has been causing quite the uproar lately, from customers waiting in obnoxiously long lines, to employees trying to get hold of the favored savory meal.

To no surprise (for us, at least) a SJMC advertising alumna helped create the appealing packaging for the popular chicken sandwich. Alyssa Nodorft graduated from our program this past May (2019) with a Bachelor’s in Advertising and a concentration in Digital Media. Nodorft said her work landed on the packaging for Popeyes through her internship.

“I got the opportunity to intern at GSD&M during my last semester, and they asked me to continue my internship over the summer. During my last few weeks there, before I started my new job, one of the full-time senior designers asked for my help on a Popeyes project,” she began.

Nodorft said once she and her colleague came up with a new template for the chicken sandwich bag, she then took the lead on creating all new illustrated icons for various templates. She said designing the icons was loads of fun. “All the doodling I did instead of taking notes in high school paid off!”

Artwork created by Alyssa Nodorft and her team at GSD&M

Shockingly, Nodorft just recently tried the chicken sandwich for the first time last week in Austin. “Seeing your work anywhere is a proud moment, but having it on something as explosive as the new chicken sandwich is a different type of adrenaline rush. When I went to see it in person, I just wanted to stand on the table and shout, ‘I helped make this!’ in the middle of the Popeyes.” She joked, “But I refrained.”

Nodorft also helped design the packaging for Popeyes’ Cajun fries and apple pies, and yet another fellow SJMC alum helped her come up with some taglines found on the packaging. The containers for those have not been used yet, but is exciting to see Nodorft’s work dominate Popeyes marketing.

As for Nodorft’s everyday professional life, she is currently working for a digital adverting agency Mighty & True in Austin. She works in an environment that allows for her to constantly create from creating an art direction for a potential creative campaign, to redesigning a client’s entire brand.

Nodorft hopes to be a creative director for an ad agency in the media capitol of New York City. “We’ve all become entranced by at least one commercial that made us tear up because it’s just that good; it connects with you on a personal level because we’ve all shared the same human experiences throughout our lives. And then it turns out it’s just a car commercial! That’s what I want to do,” she expressed.

She leaves off with some advice for SJMC students, “Treat your projects and classes like it’s your first full-time job you really want to be successful at, especially in the classes you want to pursue as a profession. Your professors will notice, and they can help immensely when it comes to starting your career. Stay after class, and ask them for their advice. They want to help you succeed–you just have to be proactive about it.”

She continued, “There’s a lot of talented people out there, so make yourself stick out by creating those relationships. Always be kind and respectful; it’ll leave a lasting impression. And it just may pay off in the future.”

On behalf of SJMC, we are proud to see fellow Bobcats like Nodorft leaving their mark wherever their talents lead them!