Archive for the ‘Chicken’ tag
Of course, it goes along with the thinking that, as long as people are talking about you, you don’t care if they love you or hate you.
But is that the best thing for a business? Do people buy from people they don’t like, but do so just because they’re in the news?
I’m here to stop that thinking.
Not all publicity is good for you, for your business, or for your community.
Sure, not all news will be good news. Even the best companies will have some negative things written about them, but it’s in how you respond that makes, or breaks, the game.
A Bad Publicity Example
Let’s take Susan G. Komen as an example.
In January of this year, Komen decided to no longer fund Planned Parenthood, which created a huge PR mess, not because of the decision, but because the communication around it happened.
When the organization came under fire, Nancy Brinker, the organization’s founder and CEO, fumbled her way through interviews. Her messaging was never consistent and it was clear they hadn’t thought through any of the implications of removing funding from an organization that provides free breast cancer screening to the underserved population.
They ended up reversing the decision, but the damage was already done. Top executives began to leave, volunteers turn their attention elsewhere, and donors sent their money directly to Planned Parenthood. And, just last week, Brinker and the organization’s president (along with two additional board members) stepped down.
If you’re of the “any publicity is good publicity” mind, it makes sense to consider what can happen to an organization when negative news isn’t handled correctly … as happened to SGK.
A Good Publicity Example
But it doesn’t have to be negative news that can hurt an organization.
In May of 2009, Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises across the country struggled to keep up with the four million new customers after Oprah Winfrey told viewers of her show they could get a free meal by printing out an Internet coupon.
People took to the web to print out the coupon and head to their closest KFC.
But the problem? The Oprah Effect created such a demand the website couldn’t keep up and many people were met with error messages or a timed out site.
If that wasn’t enough, the giveaway happened closest to one of the restaurant’s busiest days – Mother’s Day - and the franchisees were responsible for the costs associated with the free grilled chicken meals, cutting into their profits and leaving them scrambling to order product they didn’t have in store.
When is Publicity Right?
In the Oprah/KFC example, the publicity would have been perfect, had the restaurant anticipated the response, both by increasing their server storage space for a few days and alerting their franchisees of the promotion and what it could mean in terms of masses of new customers coming through their doors in a few short days.
There is more to “getting your name in ink” than just a story running. Have you considered the message you’d like delivered? Is your organization ready if critics don’t agree with the message you’re communicating? Are you ready if your media relations push is so successful, it has the potential to shut you down?
Publicity, when done well, is fantastic for brand awareness and credibility, if timed correctly and if you work with journalists, bloggers, and influencers that are perfect for your brand. But if you believe all publicity is good and you just shoot “news” to everyone on a list, be prepared for backlash.
A version of this first appeared at ASI, a sports and entertainment branding agency.
Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches are renowned for their juiciness and crisp, perfectly seasoned crust. However, Chick-Fil-A the establishment has also recently become notorious for making offensive anti-gay remarks. Whether you want to keep your food dollars elsewhere or not, we can all agree that making awesome chicken sandwiches at home is a good thing. More »
Mayor McCheese removes his top hat, dumps the last of the special sauce from his pockets, and waits at the terminal, grateful that his head was allowed through the security gate. (He had to get rid of his milkshake.) He’s on his way to London for the 2012 Olympics, where McDonalds has set up four Olympic venue restaurants to bring Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets to the cheering masses.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Say goodbye to grilled chicken that’s part underdone and part over-charred. By resting a foil-wrapped brick on the chicken halves, you’ll flatten them out to cook more evenly and achieve moist chicken perfection. More »
Canadians are asking questions of McDonald’s.
“Does your Egg McMuffin use real eggs?”
“How is it that Burger King has a veggie burger and McDonald’s doesn’t?”
“Is there beef in your fries?”
“We know that there are questions out there, and that there are myths out there,” McDonald’s Canada chief marketing officer Joel Yashinsky said to The Globe and Mail. “We need to have a conversation with our customers, and social media allows us to do that.”
Of course, there’s transparency and then there’s radical transparency. In this next video, we go behind the scenes to see what’s inside a Chicken McNugget, which pushes the envelope a bit further than the advertising-related question-and-answer video above.
I like this campaign, but I can’t help but wondering how far the brand will go with it, and more importantly, what they may learn in the process. For instance, will McDonald’s Canada entertain this question: “Why do you support factory farms?”
A conversational campaign is a start, a show of good faith, but will McDonald’s Canada ever be able to see themselves as an active driver of a larger environmental and health problem, and then act to modify their practices and run the company in more sustainable ways? I would ask that of the entire corporation, but let’s see if the Canadians can alter not just perception, but reality. Then we can see how that’s playing in Oak Brook.
Greenpeace zette afgelopen nacht de stoepen voor 29 vestigingen van Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) af met politielinten.
Lees Meer over: Greenpeace voert actie tegen KFC.
The world of portable, general-purpose computing is moving along two parallel paths. First, and most popularly, you have devices like smartphones, which are focused on user interaction and connectivity, but are smart enough to be the “brain” for any number of more capable devices. Then there are purpose-built devices with one or a few specific functions: a high-precision range finder, or a pollutant detector, or a simple laser level.
But in the middle somewhere, and perhaps a bit into the future, you have a middle way: the tricorder. Some might consider it the best of both worlds; some, the worst. But whether it’s the one or the other, tricorders are getting more real by the day. The Tricorder Project is just one among many, but the idea is sound and hell, the device even works.
There are initiatives to create such devices already; there’s the Tricorder X-Prize, sponsored by Qualcomm, which hopes to create a handheld device capable of “capturing key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases.” And we wrote a while back about a device that can check pulse and temperature from a distance using lasers.
This particular project, though, began by Peter Jansen when he was a PhD candidate at McMasters University, isn’t about health care but rather science. Jansen is passionate about the invisible world of magnetism, radiation, temperature, and other things all around us, and wanted to build a single tool that could measure all of these things — while remaining usable and compact. In other words, the kind of thing you’d want to send down with an away team in Star Trek. Jansen explains:
The idea is really to have something that’s useful both for a young student first being introduced to science, as well as being standard equipment for future planetary explorers. I think the difference here, and how that’s possible, is with an open source design philosophy. By having an open device folks can easily write apps that use and interface to the onboard sensor hardware. For kids, one might load up a software suite based on the OLPC suite and Alan Kay’s squeak e-toys, which is a great tool for teaching computer science concepts to even very young kids in a fun and intuitive way.
The Mark II device has sensors for temperature (atmospheric and spot/IR), magnetism (3-axis magnetometer), distance (ultrasonic), GPS, pressure, color and brightness, and a few other things. it’s easy to think of numerous other measures it could add (non-visible radiation, pH, air and soil quality, auditory measurements) but as it is, it already acts as a powerful extension to our existing senses. It displays the info on two OLED touchscreens and folds up to fit in a pocket. And of course, it runs Linux.
The obvious question many readers will ask is: why not do this on an iPhone? The reasons are both technical and philosophical. I asked Jansen about this.
The main issues with this approach are standards and openness for connecting external devices. It’s challenging to design a device that will connect to some large subset of smartphones, and some manufactures (like Apple) complicate the process with proprietary interfaces.
For kids and science education, which is a large part of the mission of the Tricorder project, I think having an extremely inexpensive standalone device is still a very good way to go. The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) and new Raspberry Pi have shown us that extremely sophisticated devices for learning can be produced inexpensively.
The device pictured is the Mark II, and a Mark III that was more modular ended up being scrapped. The Mark IV, Jansen says, has a focus in imaging and visualization — something that’s important for people who may not have an intuitive understanding of numbers and histograms. He hopes to include thermal imaging on it, among other things.
The most important thing, perhaps, is the price. Keeping the cost down is the only way to even create the possibility of widespread use. Jansen hopes to bring the cost of the device down to around $200, and he has tried as much as possible to stay with off-the-shelf sensors and parts to control the cost. And as the software and blueprints are totally open and free, the device can be built by anyone with the resources to do so (which is to say, soldering and board-building skills as well as the money). But ideally, manufacturing would be democratized as well, and allow for home fabrication of the casing and perhaps pre-assembly of the more difficult parts of the device.
Is the tricorder class of device something that we’ll be seeing more of or less of as time goes on? In a way it’s an uncomfortable compromise between the elegance of a single-purpose device and the versatility of a smartphone. But it’s also something different, purpose-built, powerful. The end game seems to favor modularity, but at the same time, there are many people and organizations that would love to have a few of these things lying around. Whatever the future holds for this sort of thing, the Tricorder Project is both admirable and impressive. You can learn more, or check out the specs and build instructions, over at the project’s page.
At the Arizona Opry, they sell memories.
The two hour musical extravaganza takes you from the 1950s to the 1970s. Judy loves this show (as does June, her 75 year old friend who is wintering in Mesa). During a typical performance, 480 people spend $32 each for a chicken & stuffing & mashers dinner and entertainment. They spend even more on CDs and jewelry and gadgets that remind the attendees what life was like before home foreclosures and rising gas prices and escalating health care costs ruined life as we knew it … reminding us instead of when we only worried about rising gas prices and the threat of a nuclear attack from the USSR and a war in Vietnam and what might happen in the season finale of M*A*S*H.
Trust me, while the singing is credible and the musicians are good, you’re not paying for talent as much as you are paying for memories at the Arizona Opry.
What exactly are we selling our customers?
Sometimes, I think we have everything backwards. We’re told we have to be “so-mo-lo“, or social/mobile/local, because “the modern customer demands it“. Well, maybe Jasmine demands that, right? We’re told we have to offer 20% off plus free shipping, because “the modern customer is in charge“. Well, maybe Jennifer is in charge.
Be honest … does 59 year old Judy (or her 75 year old friend June) care about “so-mo-lo“? To Judy and June, “social” is sharing a lemonade during the encore presentation of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” at the Arizona Opry with 478 like-minded individuals.
Would Jasmine ever be caught dead at the Arizona Opry?
Catalogers are going to pivot in one of at least five different directions.
- Ride Judy into retirement … selling her need-based products that complement her lifestyle.
- Ride Judy into retirement … selling her memories. Think about all of the casinos out there featuring Herman’s Hermits, right?
- Migrating into Jennifer’s demographic … selling her “moxie” … via discounts and promotions that help Jennifer feel like she got the best deal possible … these discounts and promotions will be funded by significant reductions in catalog ad cost expense to Jennifer (like going from 18 to 4 catalogs a year).
- Migrating into Jasmine’s demographic … where “mobile” matters, a lot … this will cause the cataloger to lose identity, but may be great for the long-term survival of the brand. This is a whole different business model, one where the profit from the catalog is used to re-invest in new business models.
- Brand erosion as Judy heads into retirement, caused by not selling her what she needs, or by not selling her memories.
I know, you’re going to disagree with me. You’ll tell me about the 26 year old who just picked up the phone and ordered from a catalog … you’ll tell me that memories are “for old people” … you’ll tell me that your 65 year old Aunt loves her iPad … you’ll tell me that 67% of your sales happen online, so you’re just fine.
Most of those instances are simply outliers.
In the real world, we might consider evaluating what business we have, and consider what we are truly selling:
- Judy = Memories.
- Jennifer = Moxie.
- Jasmine = Mobile.
Who is your customer? What are you really selling that customer?
Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday (or for any other chicken wing eating occasion), here’s a mind-boggling technique for eating wings that will keep your beer hand free. More »
I think an agency has a good culture when it can lay stuff bare. Look back on the successes as well as the weird things that happened along the way. An example of this would be Barbarian Group. They are the creators of (amongst many other things) the legendary ‘Subservient Chicken” and have celebrated their first 10 years with this little online album.
Revisit great work like Samsung’s Tweet Wrapping or the CNN headlines on a T-shirt. In-jokes are littered throughout ‘Barbarian Group X‘ and as you would expect from the makers of ‘The Most Awesomest Thing Ever‘, many things were simply awesome.
Oh, and while they were at it, they also released this nice timeline of 2011′s social media milestones.