So was this promotion a fiasco? Well, it depends on who you ask. If you ask KFC they say “No!” (of course). But if you ask some PR professionals they say “Heck yes”. So who’s right?
First, let’s back it up. Go read this synopsis story over at AdvertisingAge.com.
At the end of the promotion and ensuing coverage we are left with what?
KFC did accomplish one thing — a sea of buzz for its product. But the chatter got nasty when the promotion ceased. According to Zeta Interactive, which monitors blog chatter, KFC generally popped up in about 538 blog posts daily, with 72% of mentions positive. During the promotion, that number soared to 1,319 mentions, 89% of which were positive. But cutting the cord on Thursday had an immediate effect, with 772 posts. Negative ratings shot up, to 33%
“The free-chicken promotion created a sense of enthusiasm within online communities and enhanced KFC’s online reputation,” Al DiGuido, CEO of Zeta Interactive, said in an e-mail. “However, as soon as KFC decided to halt the promotion, their brand suffered a brutal backlash, plummeting down to 67% positive buzz. With this overwhelmingly negative response, KFC did more damage to its brand by running an incomplete promotion than if they had just not launched the campaign in the first place.”
KFC begs to differ. “We have never had more positive customer response,” said Ms. Schalow, noting that about two in four grilled-chicken customers it’s attracted are new or rare visitors to the chain. However, Technomic President Ron Paul said that’s the group easiest to alienate.