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October 7, 2015

KFC and the power of Oprah

by Brad Trechak, posted May 11th 2009 11:03AM
Oprah WinfreyIt was a nice idea. Oprah does a promotion for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) involving their new grilled chicken offering. She mentions on her talk show that the chain is offering a free grilled chicken meal if you hand in a downloadable coupon available at Oprah.com. Sadly, it didn't turn out so well for the franchise.

Oprah's insane popularity caused about a bazillion people to download the free meal coupon. So many, in fact, that KFC wasn't ready to give out so much free grilled chicken and has now offered rainchecks for the existing coupons.

I personally experienced the hassle of requesting a raincheck for my coupon, (at least KFC is giving a free drink, as well, for one's troubles). My guess is that KFC can't handle the damage to the bottom line of so much free chicken so quickly, and is trying to space out the promotion. Still, the damage done to both KFC's and Oprah's reputation is incalculable. There was even some trouble at an NYC KFC from this.

Never underestimate the power of Oprah. Here endeth the lesson.

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Oprah is an incredible marketing machine, but why she paired up with KFC that clearly didn't handle this well, I will never know. There is a great article here about their botched apology: http://www.aircheese.com/article/kfc-dominos-ms--apologies-part-i

May 12 2009 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You want to see long lines.. if Obama passes his health care reform we will have all kinds of lines.

May 11 2009 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Didn't KFC think this was going to be a HUGE hit and plan accordingly.

People will do anything to get something for free, even if that means driving 10 miles and waiting in line for an hour. I don't know about you, but I think I would rather spend $6 for some fast food and I'd still be better off.

El Pollo Loco gave away 2 free thighs a couple of weeks ago in So Cal and people were lined up for blocks. Talk about Crazy Chicken.

May 11 2009 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tool's comment

i went to kfc and order for 10 people and i ask them to put them in individual bag and they put every thing in these small little boxes and i order hot wing and the number 13 which was mostly everything but never got it. so i called them and i paid 114.00 for the whole order and they said they would refund my money of the stuff i didn't get and replace it well i get there they give me back 16.00 which didn't even come close to the amount i was suppose to get and them my son had fallen on the floor and hurt is wrist because the floors were wet and then i get home and my daught er looked at her food and all it had was mashed potatoes and three dye piece of meat
and i din't even get my hot wings kentucky fried chicken should be sued for what my son had gotton from the fall on the floor when they didn't even had wet floor signs on the floor.

June 07 2009 at 2:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oprah knows how to generate FREEBIES among her current viewers - the same ones who voted for Obama - the people who want everything FREE...and expect the taxpayers and corporations to pick up THEIR tab.

May 11 2009 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Freedom-Lover's comment

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