If you live someone in the United States and haven’t heard about Oprah and KFC’s joint venture to promote the colonel’s new grilled chicken, you must be living under a rock.
Basically, on May 6, 2009 – Oprah decided to offer a free KFC grilled chicken meal (with NO DRINK WTF!!) to anyone who downloads an online coupon, prints it out and brings it to any KFC – I do like the idea of a free meal! And I love KFC – but when I heard about this promotion, I decided not to participate. Not because I’m too good for a free meal, but I wasn’t prepared to stand in line with thousands of people, probably hungry and angry, for a couple of pieces of grilled chicken.
What I really want to discuss is the idea behind the marketing idea and promotion strategy. Yes, it was a good use of the internet and viral campaigns. Yes, it was good for KFC that Oprah endorse their new grilled chicken (Subway’s Jared needs some competition anyways), and hell yes that free meals is a great way to attract attention.
BUT BUT BUT…there are some obvious signals that should have stopped Oprah’s marketing folks from launching such a campaign, or is there? Besides not having enough chicken to fulfill demand, I mean WHAT THE FUCK, did they really think only Octomom would show up? Try 6 million people! Coincidence that the number that showed up is almost close to the number of total unemployed people? Interesting…but probably just a damn coincidence huh?
Anyhoot, here are my thoughts on WTF the marketing folks at the Oprah team and KFC team were thinking?!?!?
- Oprah Oprah Oprah, this is a recession – millions of people have lost their jobs. And you’re offering a free meal during this times? You probably thought it was a great idea to be a good samaritan, but did you think for even one second if KFC was ready to transform itself into a damn soup kitchen overnight? Again, it’s a bad idea to give out free food during times like these – you’ll just piss people off by not having enough to feed everyone.
- The people at KFC probably thought, “Hot damn, we got Oprah!” – really? The bigger they are (and I mean celebrity status!!) the harder they fall! You overestimated the power of Oprah didn’t you?
- Come up with a better backup plan than offering rain checks. For chicken – really? You mean I have to wait a week to get my free meal? This marketing stunt is very irresponsible on both Oprah and KFC’s part – where’s the accountability???
- I think the creativity stopped the moment Oprah signed on – I mean seriously, couldn’t Oprah do what she does best and give this stuff out at her shows? And she could have given more out – like a whole bucket, with sides and PEPSI!!!! What a thought.
And my final thoughts:
I hope that the marketing folks are not telling themselves that they did a great job in creating buzz – because they didn’t. What they created was an uncontrolled, unplanned, unorganized and unprofessional form of marketing – that should not be followed by any other company!!
A few free grilled chicken meals and millions of pissed of people later, KFC and Oprah are left with nothing except a shit load of rain checks to send out – and hope the marketing campaign for their new product was a success…
I’m done – now let me go buy a bucket of crispy KFC chicken for dinner! I still love you KFC!!