Since the beginning of Covid-19 we have faced changes to our daily lives. We have adapted to wearing masks in public. Having hand sanitizers every where we go. We have tried to stay 6 feet away from others when we can. We even had to spend the first two weeks of school online. But no change has been as drastic as KFC changing their logo, because “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good” isn’t appropriate amidst a global pandemic.
On August 24, 2020 KFC released a 30 second ad, in which they blurred out finger lickin’ on buckets of chicken and billboards. At the end “That thing we always say? Ignore it. For now.” runs across a bright red screen with white lettering.
The Global Chief Marketing Officer at KFC made a statement about the marketing stunt saying, “We find ourselves in a unique situation – having an iconic slogan that doesn’t quite fit in the current environment.” She also went on to explain that the slogan change will not affect the menu in any way, and that the slogan will be coming back when it is appropriate.
The new ad comes after a KFC took backlash for releasing a commercial with a different focus in February of this year. The commercial aired online and in the UK. It was a minute long and included people licking their own fingers and other’s fingers.
Due to the CDC recommending that people avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Critics said that the behavior in the video encouraged the spread of COVID-19 and called out KFC for being irresponsible.
But all real business decisions are rooted in money. And the real reason the company dropped their 65-year-old slogan was too get people talking about their business and maybe draw more costumers into the store. The same way I HOP temporarily changed their logo to I HOB. Big changes to a known slogan do not go unnoticed, especially in the media.
Despite the underlying interests of an increase in costumers, KFC is sending the country a good message. By involving mainstream media in the fight to slow the spread of COVID-19 more information will be passed around. Hopefully the ad encourages people to remember the CDC guidelines in place.
For now, the 65-year old slogan has been put on hold. But like everything else that we have been waiting to resume, with time patience and maybe a little bit a sanitizer they will be back. We will be watching normal KFC ads with people licking their fingers in no time.