August 29, 2023
KFC Rightfully Called Out For Racially Offensive Canadian Ad Campaign
KFC is in hot grease after Black Twitter called out its racially offensive ad campaign. Billboards across Canada displayed Black people enjoying its famous fried chicken under the slogan of “it’s finger lickin’ good,” drawing criticism for the tone-deaf imagery.
Azim Akhtar, director of marketing for KFC’s Canada, presented his “latest campaign” to Twitter Aug. 24, expressing how he “couldn’t be more proud” at how well it seemingly turned out.
“Sorry utensils, its finger lickin’ good,” he wrote, reiterating the motto featured on the ads.
Sorry Utensils, It’s Finger Lickin’ Good.
Latest campaign, I couldn’t be more proud!! pic.twitter.com/ktmN5TrHOS
— Azim A. (@AzimAkhtar_) August 24, 2023
However, his tweet gained traction in a negative light. Naysayers suggested that the team missed the mark, displaying Black people in an advertisement that perpetuated historical stereotypes against them.
One critic, whose opinion was re-shared by REVOLT, stated that this is why marketers should be culturally diverse and knowledgable about how to depict certain groups.
“This is why it’s important for marketers/advertisers to study art history and historic ad campaigns. The print ad vs. the video came across as a caricature display of Black people. A picture is worth a thousand words. Nah, this was a miss,” shared the Twitter user.
Despite the harsh feedback, Akhtar defended his work, stating that the full campaign includes a racially diverse video that showcases the country’s blended communities of people.
My earlier post didn’t capture the full diversity of our latest campaign and I personally apologize for not being more thoughtful in my excitement to share the campaign and only sharing certain photos. Here is the 60-second spot that is more representative of Canada’s diversity… pic.twitter.com/HpeO3nc0f2
— Azim A. (@AzimAkhtar_) August 26, 2023
However, this was not enough.
“Folks would prefer the full diversity to be present across every medium,” shared media personality ladidai, know on twitter by her handle @laidaix. “The concept was great—you just missed the mark with execution. I hope the feedback you’ve received over the past day or so helps you and your team to nail it next time.”
Folks would prefer the full diversity to be present across every medium.
The concept was great—you just missed the mark with execution.
I hope the feedback you’ve received over the past day or so helps you and your team to nail it next time.
— ladidai 📲 gems in link in bio (@ladidaix) August 27, 2023
While Akhtar or KFC mentioned no plans to modify or remove the billboards, Black Twitter is still urging the fast food brand to make things right.
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