marnsmarket

KFC tag lines UNderwhelming. What do you UNthink?

In Ad Creative on May 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm

The new doubled-breasted chicken sandwich at KFC has gotten far too much attention. Sure, it’s rather grotesque looking and probably not a candidate for  “heart-healthy” status. But at least the product development people at KFC are generating ideas that get talked about.

Wish I could say the same for their advertising agency folks who have generated one of the most confusing, least-interesting tag lines in modern memory. The commercial ends with

“UNthink. Taste the UNhungry side of KFC.”

What the **** is that supposed to mean? Many lifetimes ago, 7-Up made big gains by calling itself “The UnCola.”   That makes great sense. Sorry, but to me, this fractured KFC lingo doesn’t.

I must admit, I love tag lines. And, unlike the trendier types who minimize their importance these days, I think just the opposite. In our message-intensive society, I think it is more important than ever to  leave your readers or viewers with a concise, catchy rendition of your basic selling proposition, or something very close to it. Frankly, if you are successful in doing that you are far, far ahead of most advertisers. (And closer to a sale, I am convinced.) If you have a favorite commercial, chances are you can remember the tag line. No coincidence there.

In the old “Kentucky Fried Chicken” days the chain used to call itself “finger-lickin’ good.” I’ll bet even today that many times more people could replay that line than the current jumble.  I know, all this “UN” stuff is probably supposed to make us somehow unlearn whatever it is we previously thought of KFC.  Trouble is, I don’t know if we have any particular image of KFC to learn or unlearn. And if we’re supposed to learn they’re more than just fried chicken, that’s pretty old news. And is the best way to prove your point a sandwich that displays twice the fried chicken? (Oh, yea,  you can get it grilled, too. Sorry, I forgot. Or UNremembered.)

Bottom line (no pun intended), I can think of a dozen better tag lines for KFC in ten minutes, and so could any good copywriter. Lines that would both say something, and be memorable in doing it.

I’d like to go on, but I’m getting hungry. Or is it UNhungry? So I’m going to UNthink of KFC, and head for Subway.

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  1. You’re right, Mike. That is just about the stupidest tagline I ever saw. WTF? At least with 7 UP the uncola made sense. I have no idea what the unhungry side of KFC could be.

  2. Gosh, business sure went to pieces when we stepped more into the teaching side, didn’t it? 🙂

    Makes Cows of America look like Clio contenders, eh? How you doing these days, Ray?

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