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KFC ad draws Christian ire

Published December 17, 2013 at 9:04 am

If pressed to come up with two things that Americans love universally, you could do a lot worse than replying “Christmas” and “fried chicken.” Somehow, those two popular forces are now in opposition, as a recent KFC marketing campaign has the company in hot oil.

It seems that a Christmas advertisement, which features the line “all our stupid songs”, has drawn the ire of Christians. The Advertising Standard Authority is investigating some 25 separate complaints it received, all purporting that the commercial mocks traditional hymns and is therefore intolerant of their beliefs.

It’s the only ad this year to receive more than one complaint, a dubious distinction which undermines its success by other metrics.

For their part, a spokesperson for the chicken chain offered an apology, explaining that there was no offense intended.

“It looks at things from the perspective of a grumpy old man who is usually irritated by carol singers, but this year he sees the error of his ways. It was certainly not our intention to mock the Christian faith, and we are sorry if this offended anybody,” said the spokesperson.

One salient conclusion to be drawn from this is that seasonally-based campaigns can find big success. The video was released on KFC’s Facebook page, and is well on its way to over a million likes.

However, it’s equally important to be aware of the tone employed in these sorts of targeted advertisements. When you use seasonal and localized marketing to create a stronger connection with a consumer, your voice is more likely to reach their ears more strongly. If they don’t like what they hear, it could cause them to sour on your brand as a whole.

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