Anatomy of a promotional/marketing disaster

So, in case you are still losing sleep over that Kentucky Fried/Grilled Chicken Oprah Giveaway melt-down from last week, click here for an in-depth article on just what the heck happened, and who is at fault. Here is essentially the “meat” of last week’s fiasco (excerpt from AdAge):

The company’s offer on the [Oprah] talk show May 4 of two free pieces of grilled chicken, two sides and a biscuit to anyone who downloaded a coupon within a two-day period should have been a huge promotional coup. Instead, it turned into an unmitigated disaster when the company was unable to execute and actually had to rescind the offer.

KFC’s offer sent the chain skyrocketing to the No. 1 topic on Twitter. By Wednesday, blogs began reporting “riots” at New York City KFCs. On Thursday, local news crews interviewed fuming customers getting turned away in other markets, including Chicago. Consumers complained about rude service, and media complained about a PR team that seemed asleep at the wheel. By Friday, the day after KFC pulled the promotion, NPR was calling KFC “the James Frey of fast food,” referring to the author of a memoir praised by Ms. Winfrey that was later exposed as fiction.

Anyway, I think what we can all take away from this is that 1) KFC doesn’t have their sh*t together,  and 2) Oprah, with her constant obsession regarding weight troubles, obviously ticked off kharma by placating to a fast food restaurant.


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