Marketing success : Execution fail

If we could sing a song to KFC at this point; we would be singing Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations.  We feel let down and almost robbed by the harrowing story that follows; so much so that e felt the need to share it on this platform. But it goes deeper than us being upset about a serious lack of chilling goodness! It cuts to the heart of an issue that many organisations fail at when it comes to their marketing becoming a reality.

KRC Krushers - the sippable treat full of real bitz!

Marketing Success.

The Johannesburg weather is beginning to heat up in a serious way. The mercury has touched on just shy of 30 degrees a few times already and the brunt of summer is no where near us. The relentless heat coupled with a lot of traffic on the M1 South heading towards Johannesburg central meant that we were in need of something to quench our thirst and bring some much needed relief from the heat.

While making our way along the highway we cannot help but be bombarded by the cleverly designed and well placed KFC Krusher street pole advertising. Every few hundred meters the mundane “fade into the background” and traditional street pole advertising (which gets filed by our minds eye as irrelevant) is replaced by the larger than life replica Krusher cup, grabbing our attention and screaming at us to take notice!

The repetition of the Krushers coupled with additional more traditional billboard advertising on the highway made it virtually impossible for us to think of anything other than making our way immediately to KFC!

Execution fail!

KFC did everything right. Or should we say that the Ad Agency who does KFC’s advertising did everything right! They used a busy, public space to grasp our attention in everyway imaginable. In fact, a KFC Krusher was all that was on our minds long after we had even passed the clever, alternative advertising. 10 points there!

When we finally arrived at a KFC (on William Nicol) some distance from the M1 south where we had been hypnotised by this Krusher advertising, we waited in line patiently, adding to the suspense of that very moment we would have the Krusher firmly in our grip. Alas, it was not meant to be. Upon ordering our long awaited KFC Krushers, our ears were met with the very words we dreaded, “Our Krusher machine is broken.”

Not only did these 5 words make us want to cancel the rest of the order and buy lunch from the competitor down the road, but we were also very disappointed because it seemed as though KFC had grabbed an advertising opportunity by the horns, (unlike other brands in South Africa) and finally used some creativity in a campaign.

Maybe someone should have checked that KFC’s Krusher machines were all working properly before they created such a hype around one of their products. All in all, a complete brand disappointment and a slack effort on KFC’s side.

What to do?

When embarking on a marketing campaign, ensure that you include in the planning of your campaign to check the following boxes :

  1. tell your organisation about the promotion
  2. check that you can handle increased demand for when your marketing actually works
  3. have a plan in place for if things go wrong with your delivery
Ceri is the Sales and Marketing Director at Talooma. Over about 15 years, Ceri has developed his passion for meeting people and selling, during which time he has mastered the art of networking and consulting. Ceri has enjoyed watching the Internet industry grow over the past 10 years in South Africa and has been very fortunate to have been a part of it.
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