Mktg – Chicken ads in trouble
Minakshi Saini & Jaydeep Ghosh
What’s a dead, headless chicken capable of? A lot, if you ask American fast food giant KFC and Geneva’s small time Indian restaurant, Little India. Two recent ads, both featuring the harmless chicken, by these two brands are caught in a raging storm for their content which is being deemed in bad taste.
The KFC commercial in Australia was pulled off air on Thursday, after it earned charges of racial insensitivity over its depiction of black people. The ad was made for Australia, but caused outrage in the US after it was posted on YouTube. Opening with punchline, “KFC’s cricket survival guide”, the ad showed an Australian man grimacing as he sat among a crowd of drumming and dancing West Indies fans. The man then suggests that people who find themselves in a similar situation remedy the fact by handing out a bucket of fried chicken.
Critics allege the advert, which has attracted thousands of comments online, perpetuates a racial stereotype that African Americans eat fried chicken. “This was blatantly racist,” a reader commented on the NY Daily News website. “Australia is soooooo racist, we as a country should stand against them,” says Jezz on a blog.
Australians, upset at the American response, bombarded US websites defending the ad. “Another shining example of how some Americans can be absolutely clueless about anything further away than the tip of their own nose,” an Australian wrote on the Baltimore Sun site.
Meanwhile, in Geneva, Switzerland, Little India restaurant is trading on the magnetic pull of sex to sell its chicken. An ad created by McCann Erickson for the restaurant caricatures dead chicken in sexual positions, which they have called ‘chickensutra’ a la Kamasutra.
“Looking at this atrocity, we can probably never eat chicken,” says adman Aman Verma in disgust. “This ‘erotic’ poster gives us chickens frolicking in death. Though headless, they indulge every urge. Although I wonder how this whets anyone’s appetite,” says restaurateur Sameer Gogia.
Headhunter Prerna Jain says, “In ridiculing sex and spiritual union of the Kamasutra, life’s most basic yearning has been derided.”
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