KFC's whole chicken: bon appetit?

Natalia Kuznetsova-Rice
Natalia Kuznetsova-Rice
July 31 3 min read
Realeyes emotion data for a KFC advert

It seems like the season of controversial ads continues. A new one came from a multinational restaurant chain, KFC. 

Meet the Chicken. The Whole Chicken.

Does this sound like Bond, James Bond? Well, this is because the chicken in the video is so ultra-cool, rapping to DMX’s ‘X Gonna Give It To Ya’ that it appears as the James Bond of the chicken universe. It’s impossible not to humanize it. It’s also impossible to consider eating it.

And here lies the problem – a response to the video in the Twittersphere has been a storm of negative adjectives such as “disturbing, shocking, weird, offensive, distressing”. Marketing Week called the ad an error, announcing a couple of days later The Advertising Standard Authority will be investigating the ad because it has received over 250 complaints. 

Some even said the ad did the opposite job, convincing people NOT to consume chicken.Elisa Allen, UK’s director of animal right charity PETA, summarised it well for The HuffPost UK:  “It certainly looks as if we designed it, because it challenges anyone thinking of eating chickens to look these smart, sociable, sensitive, and beautiful birds in the eye and recognise that they’re individuals, not body parts to be battered as nuggets.” 

KFC, however, stood by its decision. Marketing Officer of KFC told The Independent: “At KFC we’re proud of our chicken, we’re not afraid to show it. ‘The Whole Chicken’ represents a step change for us, taking a bolder stance when it comes to engaging with our loyal customers and fans.”

We were keen to test this video using Realyes emotion measurement technology and see what the subconscious viewers' reaction to the video was.

Realeyes emotion data for a KFC advert

Just like in the case with Skittles, the results were not surprising to us. The negative score surpasses the positive one at the last third of the video. Analysis of the Confused score proves that the negativity is driven by confusion – “Where are you going with this? I’m confused.” An EmotionAll® Score of 5/10  is a lower average score. While viewers are attracted to the ad at the beginning, the engagement is lower than average, and the resulting impact is at the lower end as well.

Realeyes emotion data for a KFC advert

We will leave it up to you to decide what to make of this ad. In the meantime, your author is off to lunch. Most likely a vegetarian one. 

Using emotion recognition for video tetsing ensures your ad performance.

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