KFC HOPES SEINFELD STAR WILL CONVERT BORED BURGER EATERS

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(July 26, 2001) KFC Corp., Louisville, Ky., is the latest fast-feeder to try to reposition itself as a fast-food alternative.

The Tricon Global Restaurants chain on Sunday will break a branding effort from Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, starring actor Jason Alexander as a fanatic who tries to convert bored burger eaters to eat KFC.

KFC is taking out a full-page ad in Friday's issue of USA Today with a coupon offer that says if consumers want to remember the taste of a fast-food hamburger, they should "eat this coupon." The tagline for the effort is "There's fast food. Then there's KFC."

BBDO was named interim agency of record for KFC when the chicken chain named Cheryl Bachelder president and chief concept officer late last year. Since then, the agency has produced several promotional spots, and sales have stabilized.

Despite the media blitz KFC has orchestrated around the launch to coincide with second-quarter earnings, analysts doubt the campaign will make much of a difference in Tricon's earnings, which have been hobbled by units Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. BBDO handles Pizza Hut, while Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco and Costa Mesa, Calif., handles Taco Bell.

Tricon will release its earnings today after the market closes.

Earlier this month, CKE Restaurants' Carl's Jr. broke a campaign comparing its new half-pound hamburger to those offered at casual-dining restaurants. -- Kate MacArthur

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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