It’s easy to identify campaigns that miss the mark in terms of tone or message (the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad and the recent “racist” Dove Facebook advert come to mind), but it’s rare that we laud agencies for expert PR management. The recent KFC full-page newspaper apology is an amusing, lovable exception.
KFC has been enduring a PR crisis for the past few week with a chicken distribution failure that left British customers hangry and craving the fried snack. Hundreds of stores across the U.K were forced to close as a result, and to say that consumers are irritated is a laughable understatement.
Fortunately, the chicken chain partnered with agency Mother London, who helped them distribute a profane apology ad that strikes exactly the right tone.
“A chicken restaurant without any chicken,” it reads. “It’s not ideal. Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out of their way to find we were closed. And endless thanks to our KFC team members and our franchise partners for working tirelessly to improve the situation. It’s been a hell of a week, but we’re making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants. Thank you for bearing with us.”
Most remarkable, though, is the the giant “KFC” letters on bucket, rearranged to spell out “FCK.” People are so amused by the crass apology that they have been taking to Twitter to praise KFC’s crisis management. Reactions to the ad have even become a full-fledged Twitter moment.
KFC may be “finger-licking good,” but the brand has also developed a voice that is fck-ing funny — and to consumers, that is every bit as valuable.