Does KFC’s New Ad Make Chickens Look Too Charming to Eat?

Critics say first U.K. work from Mother could be a PETA spot

Headshot of David Griner

We all know that the meat we eat used to be a mildly cute barnyard animal, but that’s not to say we like being reminded of that fact.

That’s the message behind some criticisms of KFC’s first ad work from agency Mother, which recently won the account in a review that included 15-year incumbent BBH.

The spot is certainly charming, showing chickens swaggering to DMX’s 2003 hit “X Gonna Give It to Ya.” But is it too charming?

Quite a few viewers have taken to social media to complain that the ad reminds them a bit too directly that fried chicken used to be spry chicken.

“You don’t eat a chicken for its personality,” notes ad blogger Will Deans. “For the most part, we don’t like to eat things that we empathise with.”

In fact, fast food industry nemesis PETA is even boasting that the ad even feels like one their anti-meat marketing team would have made.

“It certainly looks as if we designed it,” PETA U.K. director Elisa Allen tells The Independent, “because it challenges anyone thinking of eating chickens to look these smart, sociable, sensitive, and beautiful birds in the eye and recognise that they’re individuals, not body parts to be battered as nuggets.”

For now, the brand is standing behind the spot, likely because it’s generating both positive and negative conversation.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: July 25, 2017 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT