Thursday, June 10, 2010

KFC's 'So Good' Tagline, So Bad

+ I've been trying to get this post written for over a week now, ever since KFC announced their new and first global tagline, "So Good."

So Good, so what? In the world of branding and taglines this one is pretty shite. It's not ownable by KFC - it's not 100% tied to their offerings or related to something exclusive of theirs. Sure, KFC might taste "so good" to some, but they also might think blueberries are "so good".

There is a HUGE difference between a campaign line and a tagline. It's acceptable and usually appropriate to change up the campaign line early every year. But, not a tagline. It just doesn't make sense. It's like changing your's something that is supposed to sum up your brand, your service, your offering, your mantra. It should be meaningful, tie to a benefit, and be interesting. The only thing this line has going for it is that it's positive and short. It falls flat in every other aspect that goes into developing a great tagline.

For KFC, it's the next step in an epidemic plaguing that company where they change their tagline every couple years, without giving it a chance to work. Sure, sometimes the impact of a tagline can be immediate, but in most cases, it takes years for it to be come the rally cry behind a company.

Just days before the announcement of this new tagline (which I have to say annoys me even more when they spell it out in the ads), that their "Unthink" tagline was a flop and slow to catch on.

New research indicates that the “Unthink” marketing campaign hasn’t broken through with consumers yet, most of whom still associate the brand with its longtime tagline “Finger lickin’ good.” Respondents to a survey conducted by E-Poll Market Research, when asked to identify the slogan of KFC and other quick-service brands, identified “Unthink” only 2 percent of the time, while 45 percent of respondents came up with the old tagline.

“Everyone in the KFC family is very happy that customers still associate our brand with ‘Finger lickin’ good,’” company spokesman Rick Maynard said. “That slogan was born before 1960, so it has about a 50-year head start on ‘Unthink.’ It’s as much a part of our heritage as buckets of chicken and the Colonel’s white suit.”
But also in the article, Gerry Philpott, president and chief executive of Encino, Calif.-based E-Poll, said ““In most cases, time does help. If KFC sticks with ‘Unthink’ for another year, those levels definitely will improve.

Say what? Stick with a tagline? Oh dearie me, no. No, that just won't do. Over the span of the last 10 years, there have been 6 different taglines.

Here are some of KFC's taglines in the past 50+ years:
1952: Finger-lickin’ good! (Ogilvy & Mather)
1981-1987, 1992: We do Chicken Right. (Original: Mingo Jones Advertising, NY/ Revived: Young & Rubicam New York)
2001: There's fast food, then there's KFC (BBDO New York)
2003: You gotta KFC what's cookin'. (Foote Cone & Belding)
2004: Chicken Capital USA (Foote Cone & Belding)
2004: We do Chicken Right (DraftFCB)
2008: Life Tastes Better with KFC. (DraftFCB)
2009: Unthink (DraftFCB)
2010: So Good (Ogilvy, Sydney; Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London; and DraftFCB, Chicago)


Kelli said...

Well said. That whole situation very much gets on my nerves. Not to mention their recent attempts to 'pink wash' the brand.
While I appreciate what we are able to do as far as react when things are not working, sometimes it is in our best interests to let time do what time does.

Jane said...

Oh gawd, yes! The whole Kitchen Fresh Chicken made me want to scream every time I heard it.

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