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Posts Tagged ‘KFC’

UPDATE: ‘Girl Asked to Leave KFC’ Story Looking Like a Hoax

girl kfc

This sweet girl really was attacked by dogs, but her mother may be a big chicken.

There are some sick, twisted, and depraved people in the world. This follow-up story proves it in more ways than one.

Last week, the world went ballistic upon hearing the news of a three-year-old girl, who was brutally attacked by three pitbulls, being “asked to leave a Jackson, Miss. KFC because the scars on her face ‘scared customers.’”

The story was a perfunctory Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $135,000 in donations…including a $30,000 check from KFC. The brand didn’t have to do that, but it was great PR, right?

Probably not: the story was an elaborate hoax – or, in New York Daily News parlance, “a finger-lickin’ fraud.”  Read more

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KFC Asked 3-Year-Old Girl to Leave Because Her Face ‘Scared Customers’

killed your dadI suppose after hearing this story, we will have an answer to the new marketing question #HowDoYouKFC? Answer: Sure as hell not like this.

This unfortunate story hails from Jackson, Miss. inside a KFC location. As the story goes, many people who work hourly shifts at fast-food joints are rumored to be unhappy fops and take it out on customers.

One such simpleton gnome blamed her miserable existence on a girl with a few cuts on her face. The KFC employee asked said girl to leave the store because “[her] scars made the customers nervous.”

Two things: The girl was three. The scars were caused by a pitbull attack. Your move, KFC.

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Just in Time for Prom: KFC Introduces Chicken Corsage

Hey, prom-bound teenagers: unsure of your date’s favorite flower, or clueless as to which blooms would best match her dress? Fear not! KFC is here for you with a corsage that pairs flawlessly with everything (especially mashed potatoes and gravy).

Just in time for the prom-related promo season, KFC has introduced a new type of “arm candy” — a chicken corsage, which is exactly what it sounds like. For a mere $20, the savvy shopper can purchase a kit online, which will ship from a Louisville, Ky. florist, and comes complete with delicate corsage-makings and a $5 KFC gift card to be used for a drumstick. The only decision you’ll have to make is whether the morsel to adorn your date’s lovely wrist will be Extra Crispy, Kentucky Grilled Chicken or Original Recipe.

Just be forewarned of two things: First, it’s not easy to get grease stains out of chiffon. Second, if it suddenly seems as though your date is leaning in for a mid-dance kiss, she might just be leaning in for a nibble of her delicious accessory.

The Colonel’s Secret Recipe Unites the World

On a planet divided by violent political, sectarian, and international rifts, it’s nice to know that sworn enemies can share a deep admiration for one historical figure who was so much more than a man. Years ago, this misunderstood prophet dared to buck the tide and bring humanity together in the name of an all-encompassing love—the love of crispy, delicious fried chicken.

That man, of course, was KFC founder Colonel Harland David Sanders, and this week the trusty fourth estate brings us multiple stories about residents of Palestine’s volatile Gaza Strip region going above and beyond for a little taste of his special sauce.

Finger lickin’ good PR? Yeah…no.

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Damage Control in China: Bow Down Before Your Leaders!

PR in China: it’s a brave new world! Yet, despite all the talk of a dirty “black PR” industry and the impressive propaganda powers of a one-party government, damage control campaigns in the People’s Republic seem to be very simple. Based on the recent PR fails and recoveries of Western brands like Apple, KFC and Volkswagen, a big “yes sir” apology seems to be the way to go.

This issue is very relevant because, as the economy grows more global by the hour, every company that doesn’t sell artisanal pickles in Williamsburg, Brooklyn wants to build a strong reputation in China.

Here’s the backstory:

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Ode to KFC: Poetry Contest Doubles as Damage Control in China

How do you make people forget (or at least ignore) the fact that they’re eating “chicken” pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones? Why, you encourage them to enter a poetry contest, of course!

Late in 2012, Chinese media reported that the chickens provided to KFC by a few of its suppliers were raised to maturity in only 45 days thanks to the use of said substances. Disgusted consumers began turning away from the restaurants in droves, but instead of immediately issuing an apology, parent company Yum Brands simply stated that it was cooperating with investigators and that all of its products were safe.

Customers were apparently unconvinced, as KFC China‘s sales slid a whopping 41 percent in January, prompting the company to issue an official apology and take further action. China is the source of about half of Yum Brands’ revenue, and so a plan was hatched to get its reputation back on track in this all-important market.

The resulting PR/marketing campaign, which boasts the laughably epic name “Operation Thunder” (is Thor involved?) began in recent weeks with a mini-site detailing the steps the company will take to ensure the safety of its chicken and promising to keep customers informed about potential safety issues. But it’s the social media aspect of the campaign that really seems to have reached consumers.

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2012’s Top Chinese Social Media Branding Stories

Nike ChinaCapturing the Chinese market is every marketer’s dream. More than a billion potential customers in a newly open society that continues to grow more and more infatuated with brand-name goods? We can certainly see why everyone’s so interested.

So what are the world’s largest companies doing to familiarize the Chinese public with their products? Well, 2012 found them executing a lot of sly promotional campaigns via social media. Jeremy Webb (@thepekingorder), co-lead of Social@Ogilvy Beijing, recently provided us with his list of the year’s top 10 brand posts on Weibo, the Chinese micro-messaging equivalent of Twitter. It’s a fascinating list that shows us how PR/marketing practices in China are quite similar to those in the Western world.

In fact, we’d say that speedy, topical posts offering clever takes on the day’s “water cooler” topics are even more valuable in China than in the United States. Take, for example, the year’s most-shared post, which predictably concerned the Summer Olympics: It’s a Nike ad with a message about fairness, indirectly referring to the fact that many Chinese citizens believed the London judges to be biased against Chinese athletes.

Damage control is important in China, too:

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Meatless McDonald’s? It’s Happening

Expecting an incredibly successful global franchise to refresh its brand by starting a branch that doesn’t carry its best-known product is a little unrealistic. Can you imagine, for example, an Auto Zone with no car products or a Payless with no shoes in stock?

How about a McDonald’s that serves no meat?

The world’s biggest fast food chain surprised investors this week by announcing that it will indeed establish at least two all-vegetarian branches in northern India. The country’s dominant Hindu religion places the cow on a spiritual pedestal, and nearly half of all Indian citizens are vegetarians.

This isn’t really such a leap, though—McDonald’s has achieved significant success in China by tailoring its menus to satisfy local tastes (despite the fact that KFC is much larger in the People’s Republic), and it has tried desperately to win business in India for more than 20 years. The company has long served the Indian market with a half-veggie menu—its most popular item is a fried potato patty called the McAloo Tiki burger.

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Roll Call: NBCU, GCI Health, BW, and More

John Shea

John Shea has been named CMO and EVP of integrated media at NBCUniversal‘s Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media Division, a newly-created role that will include revenue-driving responsibilities. In this position, he’ll lead the research, sales, and marketing across the company, including Women at NBCU and Green is Universal. He’ll also be involved with the company’s digital properties, like Fandango and DailyCandy. Shea spent a big part of his 20-year career with MTV Networks.

In addition, Jonathan Gibs has joined NBCUniversal as SVP of digital research in the Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media Division, another new position. He was previously an SVP at the Nielsen Company.

Kim Sammons has been named SVP and deputy director of GCI Health‘s Atlanta office. Sammons has a lead role in services targeting patient advocates.* Previously she was a VP at the firm For Momentum. She has also worked on campaigns for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations.

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KFC’s New Spokesperson is ‘Chief Chicken Officer’

KFC has a new “chief chicken officer” — Aaron Pearson, a 25-year-old vet of the company who obviously has no desire to launch a career elsewhere.

Pearson will act as a spokesperson for the chicken chain’s new Cook Certification Program, which says it will bring each KFC up to the Colonel’s taste standards. Moreover, the announcement coincides with the company’s relaunch of its grilled chicken products.

KFC has executed some tacky stunts in recent times, so this isn’t the worst. But Ad Age calls out some branding missteps the company has made, including those tied to its grilled chicken menu. Here’s a new ad above. Do you think it’s a branding improvement?