Recently, KFC had what today’s’ youth would call, a ‘major cock’ up. A fast-food chain, known for its ‘finger licking good’ chicken ran out of chicken. That led to KFC making the bold decision to close around 900 stores in the UK. How did they manage that? I don’t know; I’m a Marketer, not an Operations Manager.
However, this downfall led to an unmissed opportunity where KFC apologised by rearranging its name on the bucket to ‘FCK’. Genius, no?


Here’s why it worked so well.

‘FCK’n Good Marketing

KFC updated the website to show which store had poultry and which had slim pickings. They wrote, “The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants…”. Later on, they came out with another update “Some chickens have now crossed the road. The rest are waiting at the pelican crossing…”. The play on words was modern and clever. We’ll give it a thumbs up from ONQOR.

Frying the Twitter Bird Instead

If you are an avid Twitter user, you would have seen #KFCCrisis trending. Everyone was getting involved, including the police!

Even if there had been negative posts about the “crisis”, KFC was on top form with their response. It wasn’t until this happened that I realised how long it’s been since I even had KFC or even thought about them. Plus, it made me crave a KFC, which I expect happened to a lot of other people.

Was it All Chicken Balls?

Theories are flying around in the office as to whether this was a publicity stunt or not. Like conspiracy last year when a social media manager guessed precisely why KFC only followed 11 people on Twitter, 5 of the spice girls and 6 people call herb, a.k.a 11 herbs and spices. People conspired that this gentleman worked for KFC, which he didn’t.
At first, we just believe there was a lack of chicken; it wasn’t until the apology was released that we thought ‘damn, that’s too good to think of this quick’.

Reaping the Benefits
Not only were KFC a major talking topic on social media and in the office but other brands were using the moment to their benefit. Burger King is a great example, a lady who went to KFC admitted “I had to go to Burger King instead” the responses were great

External Help

Here’s what I admire the most out of this mostly overrated conundrum. KFC hired an external advertising company, Mother London, who was responsible for thinking of the “FCK, we’re sorry” campaign. A big brand like KFC, you would think they have their in-house team organising this madness. But no, they reached out for help as I feel they had a lot of pressure and didn’t have time to think creatively about fixing the issue regarding marketing and advertising. A brilliant move for saving stress and time.

KFC hit a big wall closing 900 stores in the UK; this would have gone dramatically wrong. Thankfully, this campaign was a massive saver; it gave them time to sort every significant issue efficiently and kept their consumers calm in the meantime.

Myself, the ONQOR team and many others have found great respect for KFC.

Now I’m off to get KFC because I’m craving some popcorn chicken.