KFC's Christmas ad lets turkeys have their day in the sun

KFC's Christmas ad lets turkeys have their day in the sun

The Background

So we’re well into the frenzied bombardment of selling in the run-up to Christmas and all the big guns of the UK high street have rolled out their visions of Christmas for our delectation. 

Elton doing his thing for John Lewis, Santa getting reindeer treats for McDonald’s and Sainsbury’s big production school panto are just a few of my personal faves this year. 

So how does the KFC offering measure up to these three which appear to have generated the most column inches so far?

The Big Idea

The campaign runs across multimedia, but the real star is the TV. 

The core idea is based on the reality that KFC is only closed one day of the year – Christmas Day. This fact is positioned as the chicken allowing the turkey to have its moment in the sun for one day only. After that, chicken rules the roost for the other 364 days.

A clever bit of positioning from the agency planner brought to life in a delightful execution.

What They Did

Now any ad that uses the music from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly spaghetti western is going to get my attention! And being true to that genre, the ad features a ‘face-off’ between two combatants. 

Alas Clint Eastwood doesn’t make the final edit which features a chicken going head to head with a turkey in a snowy landscape which is clearly chosen to deliver the Christmas feel. 

Once the chicken sees off the turkey, the punchline is delivered to reinforce chicken’s position of dominance for the rest of the year.

The Review

Okay, it’s not that Christmassy and even a snowy location doesn’t give you the emotional cues of Christmas like a school panto or roly-poly Santa does. 

But it is entertaining, and I love the way it has turned a negative for many fans of the KFC bargain bucket (being closed on Christmas Day) into a tongue-in-cheek statement that brings a little smile to your lips.

The spaghetti western style creative really gives the idea some identity and does cut through when it starts, so it’s a great choice for me. 

My family prefers the more traditional approach to Christmas ads like Man in the Moon with a very strong identity with Christmas and all the traditions of the season. 

But many love it as the social channels are showing. Yes, it could be argued it’s gonna annoy a few vegans as it did in my office, but hey, life’s all about different opinions and I like it. 

Almost made me go and get a bucket myself after writing this!

In Hindsight

The print work is nowhere near as good as the TV for me and it would have been good to have seen a more literal chicken vs turkey execution. 

I’d also liked to have seen the one minute of the TV have a little more time spent on the actual ‘draw’ – the point when they flap around. Seems the tension is built up nicely, but the moment is over all too soon.

Genius idea to build the concept on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. This is not a new idea as I’m sure we’ve seen that concept before, but it fits like a glove for this concept. 

It may not capture the spirit of Christmas, but it does deliver against the brief in my view.

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