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May 9 2009

Why The KFC Grilled Chicken Promotion Went Horribly, Horribly Wrong

kfc logoApparently no one at KFC, or even Oprah’s Harpo Productions, quite understands the power of Oprah.

If you were unaware, KFC has canceled the grilled chicken coupon promotion from earlier this week.  Apparently you can take the unused coupons into restaurants and be issued a new one for a later date that will also include a free drink, but you won’t be getting any free chicken for right now.  Demand has simply outstripped supply, and there is no way for the chain 

As I said in the second post on the the promotion, why this whole thing was done prior to Mother’s Day makes no sense.  It is one of the biggest days of the year for the chain, and to put extra strain on their supply chain at such a critical time of the year for them just made no sense.  And to top all of this off, there are rumors circulating that the franchise locations were not warned of the pending promotion, and they are also supposedly not being reimbursed for the redeemed coupons.

Say what?

While this has not been made 100% official, apparently the deal is that Oprah is paying the corporations costs for the promotion, but somewhere along the line the franchisees got left out of this whole process are expected to just give the food away with no repayment.  How can this even be feasible?  This would also explain why so many locations were not accepting the coupons.

How can two companies of this size and reach have gotten this whole thing so horribly wrong?  Was no one aware that Oprah’s legions of fans will do anything this woman says?  

“Go print a coupon.” 

-millions of women in unison- “Yes… we shall go print the coupon, my liege.”

How could they have not had any clue how successful this was going to be?  With a snap of her fingers Oprah can sell millions of copies of a book, then add her viewers telling non-viewers about the promotion, and… reciepe for a complete disaster if it isn’t planned out correctly.

As for KFC’s part in this mess, this isn’t the first they’ve run a promotion, did they do no advance planning?  Did they not think it might be a good idea to coordinate with their franchise locations?  Did they not think that perhaps they should launch it after Mother’s Day?  No, apparently they just totally did this thing by the seat of their pants and now they have egg all over their face.

For those of you who want to get the new coupons, make sure to visit a participating location (whichever ones those may be…) to get a rain check certificate.  You will then need to mail that, along with your original coupon, in to the stated address and you will then receive a new one back in the mail that will also include a free drink.  And, here’s a wacky idea, apparently the new coupons will have staggered redemption periods.  Genius, guys… really… genius.

To add to the fun, enjoy this really overly euthasastic message from the president of KFC.



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