Is Your Brand in a Hot Mess? Turn it Around with Transparency and Creativity.
When your brand suffers from negative press, what do you do? KFC didn’t play chicken. In fact, they turned the problem into a golden egg. You see, when they had to shut down hundreds of U.K. restaurants because their new delivery partner, DHL, messed up, they didn’t just squawk about it – they went into “3D thinking” mode. They looked at the problem from all sides and realized they could turn this negative issue into an opportunity to make a stronger connection with their customers.
So, they did something few brands would even consider doing. They apologized. And they entertained their customers while doing it, rewarding them with a laugh for reading their apology ad.
In short, making the apology funny, irreverent and self-deprecating makes KFC authentic. That’s what consumers yearn for in a brand. The execution is brilliantly done, as they used the letters “KFC” to communicate their sentiment by turning the same letters into “FCK.” Notice how it’s an empty bucket? This perfectly outlines the problem, with a statement that a friend can relate to.
Does your brand talk to its consumer as a friend? KFC elevates the conversation to their consumers as if it were a friendly chat, ironically, by talking like they do. To show more of their good nature in this ad, they didn’t blame DHL for the mistake, either – which is another likable nuance of their apology ad. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see a corporation laying blame at someone else’s feet to keep themselves clean. Nope, they admit they are a company that makes mistakes and they make fun of themselves. Watch their customers eat it up.
This ad is now in all the trade pubs and is being lauded for its creativity, and has blown up in social media, It has given legs to this single page ad that ran in two newspapers. The media value alone is remarkable. And just like that, KFC is back to getting good press.
So, the next time your brand runs into a PR mess, you have a critical choice to make. You can hide from your consumer. Or, you can come clean by being straight and rewarding the consumer with something they can take away from your communication. In this case, it’s a laugh and a bit of irreverence. Make yours a special recipe of your own.
Need help quickly turning your brand around?
The EGC team can help you strategize with creativity and effectivness that will get your brand out of the weeds and back into the spotlight where it belongs.