KFC’s UK CMO believes that its response to the ‘chicken crisis’ is a testament to the strength of its relationship with its digital marketing agency and shows a brand that is confident in its identity and place in a modernising fast food market.
In response to the crisis that saw stores across the UK run out of chicken – probably the worst thing that could happen to a fried chicken restaurant – Meghan Farren (CMO of KFC UK) chose wit and humanity instead of the usual apologetic response. In a PR campaign, KFC chose to reverse their logo and rearrange the letters to instead say ‘FCK’.
Farren said “You want me to write FCK on our bucket? You want me to turn our brand into a swear word?!” and was incredulous at the start, but after a humorous response from lawyers and other company managers, she realised the good humour and human error behind the PR stunt.
She also said “We had nothing to hide or spin. We just wanted to get answers to everyone’s questions as fast as possible and match the tone to the tone of public sentiment. That’s one of my biggest lessons; it’s very easy when you are a business that is internally under immense pressure to forget that that context is not the context of the public.” Their marketing company really did wonders here to restore public faith and a public apology from one of the UKs biggest fast food brands.
The response really highlights the importance of employing a marketing agency that really understands their clients. Seeing agencies as ‘real business partners’ has been key to the success of the relationships between businesses and marketing companies. Their agency also brought back The Colonel into their UK advertising for the first time in 40 years.
Agencies are responsible for creative, almost none of which KFC does in-house. “We rely on agencies a lot because we have a super lean team. We own the direction, vision and strategy, with input and challenge from the agencies because it’s collaborative.”
KFC has obviously made a smart decision when it comes to their marketing. If a PR disaster comes about, it is essential to have a marketing team on side to help restore your brand rapport! If you would like to learn more about what PIXAFUSION Digital can do for you, then get in contact today.