To fix a pothole?
Last week, KFC launched a campaign addressed to city mayors offering to patch potholes for free. In return , the company wants to leave behind a chalk stenciled logo on the patch informing people the road has been "Re-Freshed by KFC."
"In honor of our "Fresh Tastes Best" campaign, we want to come and Re-"Fresh" your roads!" KFC president Roger Eaton says in the letter. "Every patched pothole comes with the Colonel's very own stamp of approval."
I’m all for corporate citizenship, but as a branding and marketing professional, this just feels wrong. This promotion runs counter-intuitive to supporting the brand promise of “fresh taste best” and feels like old-school self-serving corporate citizenry.
Let’s use the checklist I put together from Jay Heyman’s book (All You Need is A Good Idea) to see how this promotion fairs.(See book review below)
Could I understand the strategy? Yes
- KFC wants to be a good corporate citizen by filling in potholes
Was the idea unexpected yet relevant?
- Unexpected yes, relevant to the brand/product – no. Road works and fried chicken have zero in common
Did it have the power to make me smile?
- No - this made me scratch my head
Does the promotion tie in with the brand promise?
- No. Fresh taste and refresh the roads puts gravel in my mouth and smells of tar
Does the promotion help differentiate the brand from competitors?
- yes – but not necessarily in a good way
Is the idea brand building & campaignable?
- Absolutely not
Based on these answers, I would not recommend this promotion.
So here’s the question. If KFC were your client, what promotion would you recommend that would be more in keeping with their brand promise and would build awareness while doing good?
Here’s mine. Please share your ideas!
Get citizens involved in a “fresh thinking” campaign
Using a tool such as “A Better Project”, get people to submit and vote on ideas on how to “refresh” their city by providing grants to the best ideas. KFC would be able to create a groundswell of involvement that would not only build brand equity but be better aligned with their brand strategy.
In the end the winning idea might be to fill in potholes. The difference is in the how – by getting people involved in a new way that taps into a fresh approach of getting folks involved in supporting their city.
Share your idea.