KFC Coupon from Oprah

Update:   Yes, the KFC Coupon story is growing in complexity, nuance, and good old KFC chicken tastiness.

OK, so this KFC Chicken post is partly an  examination of the rise of Oprah’s Online  Omnipresence, partly a helper for my fellow KFC chicken loving blog readers, and partly a search ranking experiment.   The KFC Coupon for free chicken, referenced on Oprah today, is here .   The KFC Coupon above is NOT linked to my words “KFC Coupon” because that would mess up the experiment!   The only problem is that the site appears to be totally overwhelmed with requests for this offer which is pretty generous:  Free two pieces and sides for up to four people.    Feed your family free on KFC!

You want to click here – probably later this evening – for the free KFC chicken coupons.   Print out four and take the family, but NOT GOOD on mother’s day and SHAME ON YOU for even contemplating that cheapskate option!

I’m torn between thinking this is a genius move to swing millions of people back into the KFC fold and thinking it’s an idiot move for costing KFC a fortune (as in a real fortune.  Let’s assume a coupon print level of 10 million and use level of 20%.  They are giving away 2 million meals that would normally run about $5.   At a food cost of 20% and other non-fixed costs of about 20% the product cost alone will run KFC 4 million.)  This  for an offer that will bring in almost no immediate revenues.    As a branding play I want to follow this closely because my working hypothesis has always been that brand advertising generally fails but the failures are covered up by the very clever (and often very attractive) marketing firm sales reps.    At the KFC level the metrics are probably internal and less biased though so this one will be fun to watch.

Of course the value of the social media  may wind up putting this campaign into the “positive ROI” territory as  thousands of bloggers and Twitter folks like me are sucked into the greasy (wait, I mean grilled) chicken action.   KFC will soon the top trending topic on Twitter.    Chickens all over America have a  lot to fear today.

I’m a fan of their chicken but haven’t eaten there in some time – probably because deli chicken at supermarkets keeps me happy when I go into a frenzy for a fried chix fix.

Oprah apparently likes the new KFC Grilled Chicken and on the show offered a coupon for a free meal to *every person in the world* via an online website.   This appears to have created what I predict may be the biggest online feeding frenzy of all time since printing out the coupons requires some software that is loaded during the process.  So far I’ve tried about 5 times and each time get error messages I assume are related to massive server loads.

Oprah’s newfound Twitter enthusiasm notwithstanding, I’m guessing that the demand for this failed to recognize that the coupon story would spread like wildfire online to people who don’t watch the show (I learned about it from a Twitter person).

Wow, the fried plot is thickening.  Some stores are not honoring some coupons? Baltimore  Chicken Coupon News


22 thoughts on “KFC Coupon from Oprah

  1. Ahh yeah: Homegrrl Oprah kickin’ some down to the homies. Hopefully the peeps redeeming the KFC coupons won’t encounter any PETA types whining about the poor treatment of the birds (put down that bucket, Oppressor! Chicken are peoples too).

  2. A few words from the ignorant …

    I’ve not been to a KFC in eons. (I recall the decades old change that prompted The Colonel to say “tastes like cardboard”). In general, all fast food places seem to be shooting themselves in the foot by increasing the number of options, items, coupons, combinations, training-time, etc. so that all semblance of “fast” is gone from the “fast food” category.

    I’ve no idea just what this coupon deal is and will not be visiting ANY sites to find out or print out or any out.

    As for special deals, it probably means the indvidual franchisors will stretch the “stale date” on the coupon items and many of what they give a way free they would have thrown away otherwise. Also, its the old “battery and flashlights” routine: Give away free batteries and you will sell alot of flashlights; give away free flashlights and you will sell alot of batteries. All those people going in for a coupon deal will want something else: sides, drinks, something.

    So will it re-capture some customers? I don’t know. Its a cheap experiment though.

  3. .sayy kidd this is a blessinq so any boday that does not appriciate thee fact that oprah tryinqq to do somethinqq for us then dont print thee dam coupons point blankk

  4. .well everyy body makin smart remarks jst qo on bout ya buisness if yall dont likee it other then that enjoyy thee chickenn lol cause im in 10th qrade && i went to KFC aboout an hour aqo for lunch and enjoyedd ma meal wit mah cousina courtneyy && nunu lol THANK YOUU OPRAH youu mahh qurlll hehehe shout out to jhon jayy hiqh school up in san antonio TX on the NISD lol asya && xavier 30209 IM OUT STAY DOWN LOVE ONE!!!!… (;

  5. printed ’em out last nite, and putted down to the colonel’s, but the traffic jam and near riot was not so copacetic– so have to wait until things quiet down. now, imagine if popeyes’ ran a similar deal….

  6. Got the coupon allright. Had trouble redeeming it though.
    Went to the local KFC on California Oaks Rd in Murrieta CA.
    They had a typed sign up reading Oprah coupons only accepted during the hours of 10:00am and noon and 3:00-5:00pm. So what about the people that work.

    • oh yeah, they were rude about it too and when we were there at 8pm, we saw 5 people leaving as we were walking up and there were several people inside complaining, everyone walked out. Great promotion huh? People walking out in droves….Way to go KFC on Cal Oaks in Murrieta CA

    • Yep, and a girl at my office went to one that said they aren’t participating. The next one she went to refused the coupon and said to fill out a form and they would attached the coupon and send it in to corporate and in a few weeks she would be mailed a raincheck for the dinner after corporate verified the coupon.

  7. They’re handing out rain checks now.

    Really, the grilled KFC was ok, but sort of greasy and bland (splash with picante, red pepper, garlic, etc). Nothing to get excited about. Original KFC actually tastier (and popeye’s or el pollo loco rather superior)

    • As a big fried chicken enthusiast I’d say it is hard to beat original KFC recipe. I also would guess most people will go fried rather than roasted.

      We’ve got a good hand dipped grocery version that’s close and a lot cheaper, and some of the best chicken I’ve had was off a slow BBQ roadside stand in Virginia last year.

      Wow, I’m hungry now. Was going to have a healthy soup for dinner “Pho” Vietnam noodle soup but fried chix sound pretty darn good.

  8. Is anyone besides me sick and tired of jumping through
    endless hoops to save a couple of nickles?? This is absurd on so many levels. I’d rather have a bowl of chereo’s in peace than all the chicken in the world after all this…
    Shame on KFC for adding more trouble to an already brimming basket.

  9. I think it’s totally going to backfire on them. There are too many other chicken restuarants out there. Chick-fil-A,
    Popeye, Botson Market, and El Pollo Loco, etc. Even Sam’s club has a whold chicken for 4.97

  10. I think it’s totally going to backfire on them

    I’m wondering about this as well Vickie. Much of the buzz has been negative from people who were turned away, couldn’t print coupons, etc. No such thing as bad publicity may apply though.

    It’s very hard to measure this type of promotion since it’s a branding tool. You can look at sales changes before, during, after the promo but they are affected by more than ads (e.g. I’d guess KFC sells far more chicken in July than January due to seasonality, picnics, etc)

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