KFC lays a rot­ten egg with its ads show­ing hu­man­ity’s nas­tier side

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

THERE doesn’t seem to be much eye-catch­ing ad work around at the mo­ment, so we’ll just do some Onions this week.

I know KFC is go­ing to get ac­co­lades for its lat­est cam­paigns (the TV ad with the lit­tle girl “steal­ing” a boy’s milk­shake is al­ready a Lo­erie award fi­nal­ist) but I am wor­ried that they all have a lit­tle nasty edge. Now I know that many peo­ple would sug­gest I get a life or a sense of hu­mour, but I would be con­cerned that a brand is sell­ing it­self on the premise that its prod­ucts are so good that peo­ple are will­ing to shelve their ba­sic hu­man dig­nity for them.

We’ve all seen the milk­shake ad – some love it and oth­ers hate it. It may be in fun, but it does give the nod (how­ever small) to cheat­ing. And the KFC Twis­ter ad, where a gor­geous blonde stomps all over the heart of the of­fice nerd, will prob­a­bly also get gig­gles from those who have laughed at those dif­fer­ent from them­selves.

The lat­est in the twisted at­ti­tude se­ries is flight­ing on TV at the mo­ment. We see a young man sit­ting with his girl­friend at a lover’s ren­dezvous point. (To di­gress slightly: where, you ask your­self, would this hap­pen in re­al­ity in this coun­try? The young lovers are more likely to be con­fronted at gun­point be­fore be­ing robbed and raped – but hey, this is ad­ver­tis­ing …) As the man un­wraps a tasty KFC meal with his date looking on ex­pec­tantly, he turns to her and asks if she is hun­gry.

When she an­swers yes, he tells her she should get one of th­ese meals on the way home. Then he seems to men­tally slap him­self. He’s for­got­ten. His man­ners? His chivalry? No, dude. His jacket in the car. Date looks stunned.

Great mes­sage, peo­ple: get KFC and to­tally ig­nore every­one around you. I know this mes­sage is ex­ag­ger­ated for ef­fect but I would rather my fam­ily brand be a lit­tle more closely as­so­ci­ated with those oft-ma­ligned fam­ily val­ues.

So it gets an Onion. And, re­ally, we know guys are very, very stupid. But, trust me on this one, no red­blooded straight man with a pulse would opt for some limp over­cooked fast food in­stead of that gor­geous blonde.

A col­league points out that the lat­est Nis­san Navara ad – which shows the ma­cho bakkie tow­ing about five things be­hind it (to demon­strate its power and ver­sa­til­ity) – is show­ing some­thing il­le­gal.

As a caravanner of many years ex­pe­ri­ence, he says this would get you ar­rested (as­sum­ing there were traf­fic cops around and as­sum­ing they knew the law – not al­ways a given in both cases). And even though Nis­san might point out that the ad is only fan­tasy, I agree with him that some clown out there might try it any­way, with tragic con­se­quences.

So Onion for you on this one, Nis­san.

writes: I think this week’s Or­chid should go to Mercedes-Benz for its beau­ti­fully co­or­di­nated tele­vi­sion ad with the bull and the bal­le­rina. I trust no bal­leri­nas were harmed dur­ing the film­ing of the com­mer­cial. A rot­ten Onion to the hor­ri­ble, noisy Heineken beer ad with the scream­ing women and their equally vo­cif­er­ous men. It is too loud and ex­tremely ir­ri­tat­ing. I change chan­nels when it pops up.

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