KFC's cheeky new campaign asks people to ignore its non COVID-safe 'finger lickin' good' slogan

Global ads by Mother blur out the words on packaging and add safety warnings

Published On
Aug 24, 2020

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KFC's latest campaign instructs people to "ignore" its "finger-lickin' good" slogan -- the exact opposite of what it was telling people to do in its pre-pandemic advertising.

The fast-feeder was caught out by unfortunate timing back in March, when it was forced to suspend a brand-new campaign that revolved around the historical tagline, because of its hygiene implications in the light of coronavirus. 

But now its U.K. agency Mother London, in its first global work for the brand, has harnessed the controversy for the purposes of humor in a global campaign together with PR agency Freuds. It centers on blurring out and pixelating the words, both on packaging and on billboards. "You know that thing we always say? Ignore it..for now," says the digital ad, while outdoor ads carry "health warnings" such as "Lick fingers at own risk." The campaign also adds that the 64 year-old slogan will return, when "the time is right."

"We find ourselves in a unique situation -- having an iconic slogan that doesn't quite fit in the current environment," said Catherine Tan-Gillespie, global chief marketing officer at KFC, in a statement. 

The company confirmed that the new work will run in the U.K., the Netherlands, South Africa, Canada, parts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. 

In the U.S., the tagline has been little used in recent years, with advertising via Wieden & Kennedy concentrating mainly on the return of Colonel Sanders in different guises.