I thought this was pretty awesome. Kentucky Fried Chicken offered to repair potholes in roads in five major cities in the U.S; the catch is that they will make it known they did it. While KFC wants to smoothen out our commutes, which is generous of them, they will also be sponsoring these pothoels by placing a KFC stamp on top of the fill-in.

Clever, clever, clever.

KFC sent out a letter to mayors nationwide offerin their services. “In honor of our “Fresh Tastes Best” campaign, we want to come and Re-“Fresh” your roads! The Colonel and his crew are on a mission to help out America and sponsor your city’s “Fresh”ly repaired roads. Every patched pothole comes with the Colonel’s very own stamp of approval.” -Roger Eaton, President of KFC.

Photo Courtesy of The Chicago Tribune Photo Courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

Obviously this is a great promotional idea, that’s a given. But, in which way? Is KFC seeking to place their brand logo on the road for drivers to see? Or is this a nice publicity stunt that drives people like me to talk about them; in turn generating attention.

On the idea of just getting their brand out to more locations, I feel that the attention would go both ways, but probably more towards the negative. If you’re walking by, or driving slow enough to read words on the ground below you, and you see the letters “KFC”, what would you think? You’re either going to think one of four things:
1) Wow, how genius is that!
2) Good thing KFC helped out, government has no money to fill these damn holes!
3) Are you *@&!)^#% kidding me ?! Now I have to look at advertisements on the road too ?!
4) Mmmm bucket of chicken sounds good right now.

While the creativity of their brand placement is clearly present, I think they would also believe that the overall attention would be negative. However, from what I’ve read, the stenciled letters are not permanent, chalk or something. In this case, the logo is only going to last for a little while, and will be remembered more positively, as opposed to getting on the nerves of people who can’t take reading “KFC” everyday on their way to and from work.

On top of that, just the idea in general is worth it. KFC started in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and it may end there. So even if it doesn’t catch on, their generosity is noted, and publicity has clearly been created. Good publicity at that. While performing a needed community service by fixing some roads is greatly approved of and respected, just offering the service can be just as effective.

Head marketer of KFC, Javier Benito, said this is “a perfect example of that rare and optimal occurrence when a company can creatively market itself and help local governments and everyday Americans across the country.” Regardless of how far this goes, KFC has done an excellent job in marketing itself in a new way and creativing positive buzz about their company. I applaud the creative idea of getting the brand out into a new public space, while at the same time helping us out. Because we all know those potholes are extremely annoying; moreso after you’ve had some spicy chicken from KFC and need to get home to the thrown ASAP.

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Anti-Smoking Ad

April 6, 2009

Alright so I found this earlier on AdAge through a post by Ken Wheaton.

I watched this commercial before reading what Mr. Wheaton had to say about it. I’m not a smoker so this does not affect me directly, but I still think it’s a great ad. While I cannot speak for smokers, I do feel that it would have some sort of an impact on their thinking when purchasing another pack; at least for smoking mothers. How could you not feel some form of sadness when this little boy loses his mom and starts to cry?

The realness of this ad is “…leading some to call in complaints to the Department of Health” (Ken Wheaton). People are complaining because they believe that this little boy was not acting, he was put in a situation where he did react by crying. Now, this boy, who appears to be between 3-5 years of age, may be a “beyond his years” actor. However, in my own opinion, I have to believe this is not the case, and the boy was forced into a crying moment. I doubt that it was the exact situation depicted in the ad, losing his mother, but probably some other tragic situation. Donny Deutsch discusses this possibility with Matt Lauer, just scroll down.

Is this okay to do?

I am 100% for it. If in fact this kid was sadly forced to cry, I doubt it was anywhere near a life-altering experience. And in return, he’s helping everyone by getting people to quit smoking. I lost my mother once when I was probably around that age, maybe older. We were waiting in a checkout line at Stop & Shop, I turned and she was gone. Yea, I started to cry, who wouldn’t. She had only moved a couple checkout counters over, I just wasn’t paying attention. She had her eyes on me though, so I was still safe. My point is that for those few moments I was lost, and alone, and I cried. Does that moment affect me at all now? Nope. Granted, this kid was at a train station or whatever it was, so the disarray and fear he would have experienced was far greater, but the creeps that can be found at Stop & Shop can be just as horrifying.

Just because this ad targets smoking mothers, doesn’t mean they are the only ones who take something from this. The general message is about how ones smoking can result in tragic consequences for your loved ones. If a smoker unfortunately reaches the end of their line, they aren’t the only ones that are suffering the consequences. Loved ones, especially their children, have to deal with the consequences as well, and that can sure make current smokers have a guilty conscience about what they are potentially doing. For anyone who smokes and has children, watch that ad, and try to not feel guilty or heavy-hearted.

Awkward Glances

April 5, 2009

Here’s something that really bothers me, and I always seem to be on the same side of this situation.

Say you’re sitting somewhere near other people, maybe a waiting room, a bar, a classroom, anything where there are other people. Obviously everyone takes a few looks around at everyone else for whatever reason; people watching is fun after all! However, anytime that I am minding my own business, and someone looks my way, my puma-like reflexes force my head into their direction at lightning speed. The problem here is that it appears that I was already looking at that person before their eyes locked onto mine.

So this stranger decides to look at me for whatever reason, and because of my ultra, Chuck Norris resembling motor skills, I turn out to be the creep that was staring the whole time.

This isn’t fair!

You looked at me first creep!

It is after this awkward eye-tag moment that I purposely stare at the stranger and make them feel very uncomfortable.

That will teach ’em.

Bad Drivers

April 5, 2009

At least once a week there is a day where everyone just seems to drive horribly. Maybe I’m the bad driver? I don’t think so. I know I have my moments, but there are some real crazies out here in Rhode Island.

Today’s culprit..the perpetual blinker. Guy leaves his right blinker on throughout his journey on the highway; even while he’s switching into the left lane. It’s not so much that I’m annoyed he didn’t turn it off (how do you forget it’s blinking ?!), but it’s just a tease. I stare at the blinking light the whole trip, I stay behind and just wait. I keep hope that maybe he’ll go right, but where?! Where are you turning right old man ?!

Jerk ..

My New Home..for now

April 5, 2009

I wanted to start a blog like … 5 years ago, and I can only imagine what it would be like now had I done so. However, it is better late than never. I didn’t do this for the past year because I’ve been slowly building my own website, where blogs would occur, but it’s taking a long time.

I made an account on Blogger, then found all these other blogging sites, and after much debate, I decided to come to WordPress.