Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Fried" is a Four Letter Word

Cringe with me, won't you, by visiting KFC.com. Close your eyes in shame and hang your head as you watch the white lady dance with drumsticks.

The "F" in KFC stands for "fried," as you might guess from the image below.

Now KFC wants you to "unthink" what you know about KFC.

Bad start.

Years ago, Kentucky Fried Chicken decided they needed to shed the whole "fried" image and start calling themselves "KFC." I remember an old Dennis Miller bit from that time in which he said, "It's chicken. Let's not try to hip it up too much, OK?"

And yet here they are, still using the word "fried" prominently on their current website, signs and advertising. Why not just call yourselves "Kentucky Heart Attack Chicken" or "Kentucky Clogged Arteries Chicken?"

Now they want us to think of them as "grilled," even though they still call themselves "fried."

Confused much, KFC?

You need to decide what the hell you want to be and be it. And don't ask me to "unthink" when you're clearly the ones who need to start thinking.

How about dropping the adjective altogether and just be "Kentucky Chicken?" Or how about just "The Colonel's?" A massive, chain-wide rebranding will be expensive and difficult, but it beats this schizo image you're presenting.

Sure, "fried" is a dirty word nowadays, and KFC understandably needs to move away from it. But pull the plug already. Anytime you tell your customers to "stop thinking about us this way!" you are digging a hole. And as you ask them to stop thinking of you that way while still calling yourself that, you're just being stupid. I'm sure the agency knows this, but I'm also sure they're up against a bureaucratic corporation that can't quite "unthink" their old image.

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