KFC’s New Pothole Marketing

07 April 2009

This definitely caught me by surprise, and not sure what exactly what I think about it.  Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) announced that the company is now getting into the road repair industry.  Connected to the company’s “fresh”-centric marketing campaign, KFC will be filling in potholes in local streets in exchange for permission to place a chalked stencil on the pothole with a “Re-Freshed by Colonel Sanders” message.

So, I’m torn here.  I’m from Kentucky so of course I love KFC.  But I’m not a big fan of what seems to be a constant drive by advertising people to find a way to stick a logo on every empty space of anything.  Recently I’ve seen ads/logos on golf carts, back of bathroom doors, road pylons, shaved into heads and more.  Just seems like the clutter will never stop.

But, I do have to give KFC solid bonus points for such a creative idea – haven’t heard of anyone ever before doing pothole marketing.  The concept hits a soft spot for anyone who’s ever driven their car into a pothole (which is virtually anyone with a car).  And knowing that the chalk will wash off with the first rain means KFC knows it didn’t want to permanently “logo-up” roads either (no one would like that).  And the company has built-in an added buzz element by inviting mayors across the country to submit their cities to go into a draw where 4 cities will be picked randomly for the Colonel Road Crew to come fill some potholes.

From a learning perspective, given today’s economy the campaign scores high marks for actually addressing a serious issue – lack of local public funds to fix potholes – and doing something about it.  More points for providing something that consumers actually want (better streets).  And the company did a great job with the campaign visuals that were released to tell the story with pictures – who could pass up showing the Colonel in those glow-in-the-dark vests and hard hats.

So overall, a finger-lickin’ good example of creative thinking in action.

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One Response to “KFC’s New Pothole Marketing”

  1. Fergus Kibble

    This is a completely random act of marketing. Is it a CSR program? I am not sure how it reinforces their brand – it certainly doesn’t build food values or nutrition credentials. Are you sure you are not the victim of an April fools day joke?

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