A promotion with KFC designed to drive traffic and goodwill. Oprah sent her millions of minions to the Internet to download coupons to sample KFC’s new grilled chicken sandwiches. A free lunch!
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) A Kentucky Fried Chicken spokeswoman says customers at a Manhattan KFC hoping to redeem coupons for a freemeal were disgruntled when the fast-food restaurant ran out ofchicken, but Internet rumors of a riot were unfounded.
Laurie Schalow says the restaurant on East 42nd Street wasforced Wednesday to stop honoring the coupons because it did nothave enough chicken to meet demand, and some customers were upset.
But Schalow says customers who want their free Kentucky Grilled Chicken two-piece meal, promoted on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and Oprah.com, have until May 19th to redeem their coupons.
The Louisville, Ky.-based company, owned by Yum Brands Inc., expected millions of the coupons to be downloaded, but Schalow described Wednesday’s demand nationwide as “extreme.”
Hello, Yum Brands, is anyone at home? Did anyone think that just maybe, since this was Oprah, who has millions of followers, demand could be humongous? That you needed to make sure your restaurants had enough chicken in the fridge? And did you consider that this promotion would go viral in the cyber world, too?
Well, it did.
And did anyone consider the downside? Was the ecstasy of a promotion with Oprah so hypnotizing that all pragmatism was lost? Not only does KFC now have very angry (former?) patrons to deal with, a competitor is ambushing the chicken chain with KFC’s own promotion, accepting those KFC coupons for free chicken. And El Pollo Loco even questions the legitimacy of KFC’s grilled chicken.
There are enough potential crisis situations companies may face. There’s no reason to create one for yourself. While this promotion may have been based on good intentions, there’s that old axiom about how the road to hell is paved. No matter how good a promotion or plan may feel, you always have to consider the sword’s proverbial opposite blade.