Corporate Eye

Cause Marketing or Opportunity Marketing for Kentucky Fried Chicken?

There are so many clever and creative ways to utilize your media sources for your corporate marketing campaign that you could essentially never run out of ideas to use. Effective use of your media strategy involves doing things that are unconventional, creative and attention-getting. With so much competition both online and offline for consumer marketing dollars, it’s often a gray place trying to decipher what’s marketing and what’s not. What can sometimes be quite interesting are the things that corporations will do to bring exposure for themselves. I found one.

While I certainly do believe in strategic marketing and in-your-face type of placement marketing, I have to wonder though just what type of marketing this is that Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has decided to do lately.

The chicken chain has created a type of good-will marketing in the town of Louisville, KY by repairing the city’s potholes. It seems that this was a big problem for the residents of the city, with the potholes causing damages to their vehicles. Not to mention that the potholes were also an absolute eyesore on top of the hazards that it was causing for the citizens. This was a problem that needed addressing and needed to be fixed right away. KFC to the rescue. But whom are they rescuing?  (Full Press Release)

Now what KFC did to help the city in this situation is impressive. Very impressive. The chain fixed the town’s potholes and made the streets smoother and drivable again. They donated their time, their resources and their LOGO to the effort, so that means every time someone passes by one of the repaired potholes, they will have KFC to thank for it. And, they won’t have to wonder who to thank because KFC’s logo will be looking back up at them as a reminder that they are responsible.

There is cause marketing, and then there’s good will marketing. This of course would seem plausible that it would fall under good will marketing because it does in fact impose a feeling of “good will.” But to whose good will is it beneficial?

I personally am more inclined to be impressed and throw my dollars to the subtle and genuine but clever corporate marketing campaign that catches my eye. In other words, don’t try too hard. It doesn’t look so good when things are too “in your face” and you can’t get away from it. Because, I would worry that what if the KFC campaign/good will marketing was such an impressive hit that more corporations wanted to do it to. Then, would streets be inundated with signs, logos and pothole cover with corporate names on them? Will we be able to drive down the street and not see an advertisement plastered across every flat surface? Where is the line drawn or am I over-exaggerating? Is this really not that big of a deal?

Do you think companies corporate franchises like KFC present themselves unselfishly by making such types of donations? Or does it look disingenuous and as a type of “marketing tactic?”

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Bridget Wright

Writer, Blogger
I am a freelance writer, blogger and professional motivational speaker. I primarily focus on business content, offering my clients strategic marketing strategies for their businesses. I have been an entrepreneur for over 13 years, after having worked extensively in corporate America.