30th Aug 2007, by Andrew Barr

KFC Goes For The Nostrils

I love reading about all the new ways of marketing that companies go for to try and penetrate our ad saturated brains. The latest first is from KFC who have replicated the scent of their chicken wings and are pumping it out around corporate America.

Here's an excerpt from their press release:

In a marketing first, KFC is highlighting the launch of its $2.99 Deals by placing the mouth-watering aroma of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the halls and offices of corporate America.

Forget television integrations or corporate naming rights, Kentucky Fried Chicken's first-ever "scent-focused" pilot program teamed KFC with corporate mail rooms nationwide. Along with carrying inter-office mail, overnight packages and bills, mail carts in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Dallas delivered the aroma of freshly prepared Kentucky Fried Chicken during pre-lunch mail drops.

Through the pilot program, KFC worked with an online company, a business-to-business consulting firm and a non-profit, to include a $2.99 Deal – a plated meal including KFC's world famous chicken, a side item and a biscuit – on the actual mail carts that pass the offices of hungry workers.

"There is truly no better brand ambassador worldwide than the signature aroma of freshly prepared Kentucky Fried Chicken," said James O’Reilly, chief marketing officer for KFC. "And we couldn’t think of a better way to showcase the value of our new $2.99 Deal than to inject the mouth-watering scent of Kentucky Fried Chicken into the corridors of corporate America."

To bring the sweet-smelling promotion to life, KFC collaborated with Chemistry.com in Dallas; the Trade Association & Society Consultants of Washington, D.C.; and the Chicago offices of the Salvation Army.

I know that the McDonald's restaurant by me does this and it does take some resistance not to go and get one every time I visit Blockbuster video which is next to it.

I'm pretty sure the meals themselves don't actually smell this good though, having sat next to someone just a couple of weeks ago who ate a whole KFC meal next to me without me noticing as I worked on my laptop.

But having been tempted by the manufactured smell once or twice before I think this is a great idea. But crikey, what an invasion of our air space. I think I'd really start to hate them if they did this to me during my working day. We've a restaurant by the offices here and with the windows open at lunch time all I can smell is chips and garlic bread, and I'm really beginning to hate it.

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