KGC? What’s Going Right, Wrong

If you haven’t seen Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new grilled chicken products, you probably don’t have a television or radio.  KFC has been heavily promoting their new product launch with the hopes of getting the health conscious consumers into their restaurants.  In addition to traditional media, KFC tapped “The Big O,” Oprah, in order to create a little more consumer buzz.

KFC is trying to transform itself into “KGC” and they did so with a little help from an Oprah endorsement on Tuesday.  The Oprah tie-in offered coupons for free samples via the grilled chicken website (http://www.unthinkkfc.com/).  The good news, the restaurant chain got a better than expected response.  The bad news, the response seemed to be too good; restaurants were unprepared for the influx of customers and some restaurants had to start turning guests away.

Industry experts are nervous that this snafu might cost the chain more customers than it converts.  Although the turning away of customers is never a good thing, this is a move the company needed to make.  They needed to create a “healthy” menu item because their counterparts already had and with their struggling share of the industry, healthy was the only new product that would make a splash.

The rebranding effort to KGC is a different story.  KFC has tried several times to rebrand itself and although KFC stuck, after several back and forth name changes, (taking away the “fried” in order to not have it top of mind for consumers) other efforts like their “rotisserie gold” healthy product flopped.  Consumers are going to be the ones that either accept KGC or they will be the ones to shoot it down.  Personally, one menu item shouldn’t allow KFC to change their name.  If they were making a move to mostly grilled with one or two fried menu items, maybe.

The industry believes it is going to be up to the consumer whether this grilled chicken product is a success or not.  To read about what industry experts believe are the positives and negatives of this new product and new name, go to: http://adage.com/article?article_id=136484

Coke Trying to Urge Industry Change

Coca Cola is trying to start an industry wide movement that enforces a “value based” compensation model.  This model clearly states that agencies would not get any monies if the product did not perform.  This is of course is a disadvantage to the agencies because they would not be allowed to project profits before their work is delivered, as they have done in years past.

Coke’s director of worldwide media and communication operations believes that this model forces agencies to earn their profitability.  The value-based compensation model has been a hot topic in the industry for the past decade but few marketers have actually gone through with it.  Coke on the other hand shifted from the flat fee based on hours worked model in five markets last year with plans for rolling it out in 35 more this year.  They want all of the company’s global ad and media agency relationships to adhere to this model by 2011.  With 3 billion in global advertising spend, Coca Cola may have the upper hand in this decision.

The agency is used to defining the value of the assignment by hours needed to finish the creative process but this new model will allow Coke to determine the value of the assignments based on the work’s strategic importance, the talent involved and whether or not other agencies could product the same work.

This model could definitely be a huge blow to agencies, especially those who put together brilliant campaigns that the public doesn’t necessarily respond to.

What are your thoughts, from an agency standpoint? From the client standpoint?

For the full article, go to: http://adage.com/article?article_id=136266

Skittles Rebrands Itself With New Website

Skittles has totally revamped its website to include social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.  When you go to Skittles.com, you will have the option to chat about the products, brand and commercials (via Twitter), become friends with and post comments (via Facebook) and post photos about your experiences with the product (via Twitter).

Skittles has always been a wacky brand.  Their commercials are always unexpected and a little strange.  This new approach with their website follows the same model.  Skittles wants to make themselves a real social brand, letting its consumers do the talking for the product.

If successful this approach to the brand’s website could be a really great model for other brands to effectively use these free social networks to market themselves.

Check out the new site and links at Skittles.com.

For the full article, go to: http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/esearch/e3i615140fc749e479882a8e458de9163a0

Reward Programs = Brand Loyalty

A new study, The New Champion Customers: Measuring Word-of-Mouth Activity Among Reward Program Members, by Colloquy, polled over 7,000 consumers in the U.S. and Canada.

The study found that customers who participate in loyalty/reward programs are 70% more likely to actively recommend a product, service or brand than the general population.

The study results should encourage brands that have loyalty programs to actually use them because the Word-of-Mouth activity and brand loyalty that goes along with them is priceless.

For the full article, go to: http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3i13737d33d3dd0ebe0cfd55518abd7582

Coca Cola is one of the strongest brands with their rewards program

Coca Cola is one of the strongest brands with their rewards program

Chrysler Putting 3 Brands Under Same Umbrella

Chrysler, auto experts weakest of Detroit’s automakers, decided that instead of cutting any of its three brands – Dodge, Jeep & Chrysler – they are going to put them all under the Chrysler umbrella for sale at dealerships.

Chrysler’s 2009 advertising will also support this umbrella approach and will try to show all three brands in upcoming ads. The ads will focus on fuel efficiency, quality and five-star ratings.

In 2008, Chrysler Group’s new-vehicle sales decreased by 30% in comparison to 2007.

For the full article, go to: http://adage.com/article?article_id=134290

Photo Courtesy of AdAge.com

Photo Courtesy of AdAge.com

2008’s Most Social Brands

Vitrue, social-media services provider, launched a social-media index last year which measures the conversation around 200 brands on a variety of social-networking, blogging and micro-blogging sites. The survey measures mentions, not the tone of those mentions or word pairings.

The top 20 most social brands are listed below, with the rest of the top 50 here.
1 iPhone
2 CNN
3 Apple
4 Disney
5 Xbox
6 Starbucks
7 iPod
8 MTV
9 Sony
10 Dell
11 Microsoft
12 Ford
13 Nintendo
14 Target
15 PlayStation
16 Mac
17 Turner
18 Hewlett-Packard
19 Fox News
20 BlackBerry

10 Ways Twitter Will Change Blog Design in 2009

Below is a list of 10 ways that Twitter will become more tightly integrated with mainstream blogging. Though some of these are not yet available, be on the look out for the emergence of Twitter into the mainstream.

1. Tweetbacks (not yet available) will show the number of people who have tweeted your post (including all reverse engineered tinyurls).

2. Tweestats (not yet available) will add “most tweeted” and “recently tweeted” blog post sections.

3. TweetThis will be a new way of effectively sharing new links online.  TweetThis works like the current social networking plugins: AddThis and ShareThis.

4. Tweets move out of the sidebar allows bloggers to mix posts and tweets into a single colum together via Tumblr, rather than keeping them in the sidebar. New themes will have a built-in style for displaying tweets in an elegant way, and WordPress users will find the Twitter tools plugin useful.

5. Tweet Comments will allow blog visitors to comment on tweets displayed within a blog – whether they are a Twitter user or not.

6. BlogTweet feeds will have the option of including or excluding tweets.  This video tutorial will help you.

7. Blog comment form changes allows bloggers to add a form field for people to fill in their Twitter account name when adding comments on blogs.

8. New sidebar widgets include the Favorites widget which displays recent favorite tweets and this day in history widget (not yet available).

9. TwitterRolls let bloggers list their favorite tweeters and optionally a short note on why they are worth following.

10. Blog design influenced by Twitter themes

To become follow The Roxburgh Agency on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/RoxburghAgency

For a more in depth view on the 10 Ways Twitter Will Change Blog Design in 2009, go to: http://mashable.com/2009/01/04/twitter-blog-design/

Jack in the Box Unveiling New Logo At Rose Parade?

Rumors are swirling that Jack in the Box will be unveiling their new logo on their Rose Parade float in Pasadena on New Years Day.  Earlier this month Jack in the Box started testing new logos in the San Diego market, with people reacting unfavorably to the chic new burgundy logo.

Personally, I think it’s genius if Jack in the Box does choose to use their Rose Parade float as a way to launch their new logo nationally.  It is innovative and totally different that what anyone in the QSR market has done before.  I think that the audience is comprised of the right demographic for them and I think it is great exposure no matter if people love the logo or hate it.  It will definitely produce a lot of PR.

What do you think? Is this a smart move by Jack in the Box or do you think it will negatively affect the rebranding process?

Current Logo

Potential new logo