Magazine article Marketing

50 Years of Fame: Brandfame - KFC

Magazine article Marketing

50 Years of Fame: Brandfame - KFC

Article excerpt

KFC's image of southern US hospitality, and a treat to share with friends, has long been at the heart of its TV ads. Although the brand faced difficulties in the 80s and 90s, it is now in rude health.

Despite the tricky climate for fast food, KFC's global sales have more than doubled over the past five years. And having launched in the UK 40 years ago - it now has 693 outlets - a survey of 11,000 consumers last year voted it the country's best-loved fast food brand.

For many years, KFC's advertising relied on the image of the entrepreneur behind the brand, Colonel Sanders, who concocted the product's secret recipe in 1939 and featured heavily in its promotion.

But after Sanders died in 1980, the brand struggled. An IPA Paper in 2000 explained: 'KFC rested on its laurels as the 'chicken expert' in home meal replacement. With (Colonel Sanders') passing, the brand was almost frozen in time.'

The turning point was the creation of an animated Colonel, which has become a permanent feature of the brand's advertising today. Its traditional warm, hospitable values are typified in the current 'Soul food' campaign, which was introduced by Bartle Bogle Hegarty in 2003. …

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