Why KFC Turned a Tweet From One of Its Biggest Critics Into a U.K. Ad Campaign

Mother launches a new fry recipe with a mea culpa

KFC is embracing the haters to launch its new fry recipe. Mother
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KFC in the U.K. and Ireland clearly has no problem calling itself out. When the chain had to close many locations due to an unexpected chicken shortage, it ran one of the best apology ads of all time, headlined simply “FCK.”

Now the brand has built an entire ad campaign around hatred for the french fries available at its U.K. locations, and the star of the marketing blitz is a tweet that was intended to roast the chain:

Some Twitter users first noticed the campaign when they spotted KFC promoting that and other tweets that were mocking the quality of the chain’s fries:

News outlets wondered what KFC was thinking. Even Burger King took notice of the competitor’s inexplicable promotion of the fact it got burned on Twitter:

But, of course, there was a method to all the madness. Agency Mother, which also created the FCK ad, was preparing to roll out a new campaign, Ain’t No Small Fry, about KFC’s new recipe for fries (or chips, if that’s your preference).

KFC's new ad in The Sun
Another KFC ad in The Sun

The new recipe is said to be “chunkier, tastier and better,” using the whole potato and keeping the skin on.  Hopefully for the brand, that’ll mean less tweets worthy of featuring in ads like this:

KFC's digital out-of-home ad for the new campaign


@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."