Friday, May 21, 2010

Social Media & the KFC Double Down

This Canadian health article stated that KFC's gluttonlicious Double Down is viewed as a social media success, due to Twitter reviews and YouTube feeding frenzies {hat tip LinnyQat}.

This top Tweet by @michaeljnelson is less than charitable::

The Tweet links to a MSN article that details how KFC's 6 week limited time offer sold 10 million of the ≈$5 sandwich that has two of everything:: pieces of chicken {grilled or fried} for bread, strips of bacon, and slices of cheese. The "original" fried version is on par with a McDonald's Big Mac, in terms of calories and grams of fat. The recent Tweets seem to be mixed, but I wonder how much of this is truly social media driven versus integrated marketing communications {IMC}, with advertising, PR, publicity, and promotions interacting with social media. Getting featured on The Colbert Report was bound to give the Double Down some buzz.

It seems like the post-Super Size Me climate is more critical of what is tantamount to stunt foods. In terms of a possible backlash for marketing a food that is seemingly outrageous, but akin to a Big Mac albeit with more sodium, I think it boils down to expectations and brand meanings. I think McDonald's walks a finer line because it so actively markets towards kids. KFC may get more of a pass by the general public, as the Double Down may be seen by many as not an "everyday food" because of the KFC's relatively lower salience, sales, and share of the fast food dollar.

While buzz may seem like a good thing, AdAge criticizes KFC's stunt food marketing for causing a lack of strong positioning and failing to turn around slumping sales.

Nevertheless, these videos do help to frame the experience of the brand::

Song:: Nouvelle Vague/David Shrigley-'What I Ate'

Twitterversion:: [blog] #KFC's latest stunt food, the Double Down, exceeds expectations & some credit social media FTW. The buzz isn't helping slumping sales. @Prof_K

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