Advertising & Practical Thinking

The advertising profession is cold and cruel. The power of practical thinking is a perfect antidote.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Positively Brilliant!

A couple of days ago, I read about a creative marketing execution – going way beyond “traditional” thinking. My reaction, “Wow, this is positively brilliant!”

The winter of 2008-09 has played havoc with the streets of Chicago (and many other cities across the U.S.) There are potholes galore and driving is hazardous and on occasions painful on the wallet as tires and wheels have had to be replaced in thousands of vehicles. Townships and cities have been struggling with their budgets and Mother Nature – as soon as a few potholes have been temporarily patched-up, new ones have erupted.

Colonel Sanders of KFC fame is coming to the rescue with a “pothole refresh” program. The following is from Crain’s Business (for the complete article, please visit
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=33478):

Don't be surprised if you see Col. Sanders out filling potholes. In an unusual cause-marketing push, KFC is tackling the pothole problem in Louisville, Ky. in exchange for stamping the fresh pavement with "Re-freshed by KFC," a chalky stencil likely to fade away in the next downpour.

While KFC seems more suited to pot pies than potholes, the company is likely to build a reservoir of goodwill among the general population.

"This program is a perfect example of that rare and optimal occurrence when a company can creatively market itself and help local governments and everyday Americans across the country," said Javier Benito, exec VP-marketing and food innovation at KFC. Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson noted in a statement that budgets are tight for cities across the country, and finding funding for road repairs is a dirty job. "It's great to have a concerned corporation like KFC create innovative private/public partnerships like this pothole refresh program."

In addition to the Louisville project, KFC has issued an open offer to U.S. mayors to tell them about the state of their city streets and request assistance. The chain will select as many as four more cities at random for pothole assistance.

The restaurant has not yet been contacted by the city of Chicago, but has received request from Austin, Texas; Somerset, Texas; Chattanooga, Tenn. and Greenville, Miss.

Every now and then, I read about something that makes me wonder, “Who came out with that idea?" And then I tell myself, "I would like to shake his/her hand!" To the person who came out with this idea I say, "I want to shake your hand."

Now that I have written this, I think I will head out to the nearest KFC and order a couple of extra crispy pieces of their world famous chicken. No, I will make it a KFC Pot Pie.

What the heck, I'll make it a KFC Pot Pie and two extra crispy drumsticks.

A positively brilliant idea!

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