KFC Keeps The Peace With An 8-Piece Holiday Meal

My wife and I are of two different minds when it comes to purveyors of artery-clogging vittles like KFC. My wife, who is the brains and conscience of our household, eschews any foodstuff with a five-digit sodium reading. I, on the other hand, am a huge fan, which is reflected in my pear-shaped torso and the rows of cholesterol drugs in the medicine cabinet. I know that ingesting almost anything on a typical KFC menu, even its critic-appeasing offerings (congealed apple wedges, "salad," etc.), foreshadows a romantic evening on the commode, but I am incapable of self-discipline when lunch o'clock comes rolling around. Speaking of which - is that Taco Night In America leftovers I smell? Back in a few.

Okay, where was I? KFC. It has nutritional value in the way that ChiPs has educational value: In the most beside-the-point manner possible. Not that it needs to be spelled out, but KFC entrees have some small modicum of protein, just as ChiPs features characters saying words that can be found in many non-discredited dictionaries. Nonetheless, as chains are wont to do, KFC continues to attempt to lure new mouths, fast-food-simpatico and otherwise. Its most recent volley to that end is a trio of pointedly quirky holiday-themed videos hyping its super-tasty, violently caloric Festive Feast.

Smartly, the clips avoid tastes-better-than-McSomethings promises. Somewhat less surprisingly, they decline to play the "our food is a part of a balanced daily diet, assuming you ingest nothing else besides home-stewed kale runoff during your other two meals" card. Instead, the clips highlight the solace that a KFC Festive Feast meal can bring to otherwise skirmishy families during the holidays.

I admire the approach, if only because we haven't seen anything like it from a fast-food merchant in quite some time. Most such efforts can be summarized as either "food taste yummy" or "food not expensive." KFC's attempts to position the Festive Feast as an alternative to the home-cooked meals that dominate December are both interesting and appealing.

They'd be even more interesting and appealing if the clips were anything more than aim-low piffle. Each of the three depicts a holiday gathering in which the protagonist - a guy who's as average-looking as mud is brown - endures family annoyance before everyone shuts his/her stinkin' trap and wolfs down some KFC. In the first clip, he contends with goal-oriented uncles; in the second it's chirpy aunts and in the third it's nephews who delight in the annoyance they provoke. At the end of each one, Esteemed Everyman smiles warmly as Christmas-like music plinks in the background.

I just don't see anyone buying the KFC/family unity connection. I have no clue whether a crapheap of fast food can provoke the same emotional response as, say, a bowl of Nana's chicken soup, but I don't see a lot of consumers rushing to find out.

So while I don't think too highly of KFC's Family Feast clips, I also don't think it matters much, as witnessed by the division in my house. Either you like fast food or you don't. If you enjoy it, and quickie chicken in particular, KFC likely occupies the top spot in your craving queue. If you don't, no amount of awww-just-look-at-the-way-KFC-slaw-unites-wayward-families tripe is going to change your mind. That means that even before you consider the quality of the clips, your reaction is already set in stone. The believers will feel affirmed; everyone else won't give a hoot.

I don't know if that makes these videos a waste of time and resources, or if it renders them just another Internet thing. But from where I'm sitting, they're not clever enough to go viral and they're not persuasive enough to prompt nutritionally complacent idjits like me to flee the neighborhood Wendy's. They're just kinda there.

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2 comments about "KFC Keeps The Peace With An 8-Piece Holiday Meal".
  1. Jonathan Hutter from Garrand , December 13, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
    I think you're right, they miss the mark. Primarily, because people like that don't stop talking just because their mouths are full. The drama/humor goes away at that point. While the approach is interesting, and harkens back to food as an emotional reward or marking of an occasion, KFC wouldn't really keep the peace, just hopefully make it better tasting. Also, that's not Christmas-like music in the background. It's Silent Night, which is too obvious a conclusion. I could also see those two uncles spewing chicken bits all over him as they talk over their drumsticks.
  2. David Carlick from Carlick , December 16, 2012 at 8:51 p.m.
    Your review of the commercial is laden with your view of KFC food, which in turn seems to be laden with your own inability to eat sensibly instead of relying on statins. Your own self description is a description of the country's health care money problems in a nutshell. Rely on the medical industry, your insurance, and big pharma to make up for your own choices. Yet, I can walk into a KFC and get some wonderful chicken (either classic breaded or grilled), salads, green beans, and eat perfectly healthy. You infuse the review with your own biased (and in my opinion, incorrect, please read Good Calorie Bad Calorie by Taube) views on nutrition, including starting right off with the pejorative 'artery clogging.' Lost in all this is your review of the videos. They have some charm, they will not go viral, but I did find the drumsticks calming the uncles to be a valid product promise. Yes, KFC offers a variety of dishes to serve a variety of customer preferences (some call that good business). The self-admitted fact you can't bring yourself to order in a healthy way from their menu is your problem, and attacking the company for their menu because of that is, in my opinion, an unfair use of your podium.