Kentucky Grilled… Genius, or Flaming Failure?

Debates are heating up on the web about whether or not Yum Brands succeeded or failed with the recent Oprah-promoted grilled chicken giveaway.

Do you think it sizzled (created online/offline kfcbuzz/ink, stimulated trial, attracted new users) or soured (bad execution, negative buzz)?

Experts are both praising and pummeling the brand for the concept and its execution, shining a spotlight on experienced promotional consultants like those within the PRConsultants Group who know how to execute and troubleshoot in advance.

Here’s some great advice on how to hold an orderly giveaway (credit: Ad Age):

Massive giveaways don’t have to wreak havoc on a restaurant system. Denny’s gave away 2 million of its legendary Grand Slam breakfasts during an eight-hour period in February. With a smaller restaurant base, the chain was able to seat and serve its guests. And while most locations had long lines for the bulk of the day, there were few reports of unhappy customers. John Dillon, VP-marketing at Denny’s, shared some top tactics for doing a big giveaway right.

Communicate, communicate and then communicate some more: Denny’s executives toured the restaurant system, talking to franchisees and staff about the coming promotion. They also held town-hall meetings to share ideas.

Energize the staff. Happy front-of-the-house folks are a critical component to a positive guest experience. Denny’s goosed enthusiasm among wait staff with its first-ever Super Bowl ad.

Keep it simple. Make the offer clear and easy to understand. Hold it on one day and within a set timeframe. And make sure it supports an overarching brand strategy.

Pray for the best but prepare for the worst. “We did as much modeling as we could to plan through different scenarios,” Mr. Dillon said. “But at the end of the day, you don’t know what to expect.” Before the event, Denny’s shipped thousands of rain-check coupons to its restaurants, just in case.

Don’t hurry, or don’t do it. Denny’s planned its giveaway months in advance, and it took different forms throughout the process. But the planning paid off. “We heard of a couple of restaurants that ran out of syrup,” he said.[polldaddy poll=1620795]

Good advice for life, too.  Slow down and enjoy the chicken… no matter how you like it.

— Julie “I Prefer Crispy” Dennehy, APR, Dennehy PR and director, PRConsultants Group

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *