When Ronnie VanZant said: “turn it up” at the beginning of Sweet Home Alabama did he mean the volume of his headphones or the fire under the fryer at KFC AKA Kitchen Fresh Chicken and Kentucky Fried Chicken?
What the heck is going on here? Just because you can afford to buy the rights to a song doesn’t mean you should use it in a commercial - especially when it doesn’t have anything to do with your brand. As far as I can see there’s no connection between Alabama or Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
My first thought when I saw the ad was that of actor Steve Buscemi as Garland Greene in the movie Con Air: "Define irony: a bunch of idiots dancing around on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.”
A quick search shows that “Sweet Home Alabama” has been used in 8-Mile, Forrest Gump, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a version by Jewel for the movie “Sweet Home Alabama.” It’s easy to understand how a marketing genius would think: “If it’s good enough for that blockbuster I suppose it’s good enough to sell chicken.”
But I digress. In the spirit of cooperation and brand development I offer the following songs for KFC’s consideration.
My Old Kentucky Home – The UK fight song – perhaps we could persuade them to change their mascot from the Wildcat to the Chicken.
Blue Moon Of Kentucky - Many KFC restaurants are open late. Could also refer to how often most people dine at KFC.
Dixie Fried by the Kentucky Headhunters – In a perfect world….
The Chicken Dance – Chickens really do run around with their heads cut off.
Music triggers associative memories. Unless you happened to be eating a bucket of chicken when you first heard Sweet Home Alabama you’ll never remember the chicken but you’ll remember that …ole Neil put her down.
Pass the napkins.