KFC “Chefs”

KFC wants you to “Unthink KFC.” Yes, “Unthink.” Well, unthink the fried chicken part and think about its new marinated grilled variety, offered free for the tasting until next Monday (in case you were wondering, also affectionately referred to by the chicken chain as UnFried Day). There are so many things wrong here, but I’ll have to begin with the fact that it’s one of the clunkiest-sounding theme lines I’ve heard in a long time. I get that consumers are trying to eat healthier and fast-food chains have had some luck with less greasy food fare, but its KFC people! Fried used to proudly be part of its name! The chain may have whittled its logo down to an acronym, but KFC is still synonymous with the southern fried chicken made famous by Colonel Sanders and his passion for his “secret blend of herbs and spices.” With the testimonials of real people and celebrity chefs like G. Garvin and Sandra Lee, the chain wants you to think differently about the way you view its food and consider trying its latest menu addition. One spot opens with the prompt “Think” and then shifts to chefs praising the brand’s chicken. After the “Unthink” prompt fills the screen, the ad gives us images of them pleasantly munching on grilled chicken and of course the requisite food shots and the more lyrical invitation, “Taste the unfried side of KFC.” Even with the white background and Errol Morris behind the camera, KFC is no Apple, so no matter how hard the brand tries to create a new catch phrase of the grilled chicken sort — it’s also launched a micro site offering extras like a place for people to upload their chicken dances, a “chef’s corner” and a “Get your grill on” phone app — I think “Unthink” won’t stick. >–Eleftheria Parpis