The tongue-in-cheek ads featuring an empty chicken bucket emblazoned with FCK immediately won fans for clever humor. But it’s unclear whether the campaign will placate customers.
The fowl shortage, which KFC attributed to delivery issues, forced the chain to close more than half of its 900 British restaurants this week. Angry customers called the police, and even ― gasp ― went to Burger King. The company said 811 KFCs in the U.K. were open as of Friday afternoon.
The advertisement running in The Sun and Metro newspapers, produced in partnership with ad agency Mother London, features a photo of the FCK bucket, with copy that reads:
“We’re sorry. A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It’s not ideal. Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out of their way to find we were closed. And endless thanks to our KFC team members and our franchise partners for working tirelessly to improve the situation. It’s been a hell of a week, but we’re making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants. Thank you for bearing with us.”
A website link at the bottom of the ad lists restaurants that have been supplied chicken, with the banner: “The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants ...”
A KFC UK spokesperson told HuffPost the “tongue-in-cheek rearrangement” of the brand’s letters was the company’s “first thought when we realized the impact of our closed restaurants on customers in the UK.”
“We wanted to say sorry to our customers and thank our team members and franchise partners for all their hard work reopening our restaurants,” the spokesperson said.
As for the ad, people on social media could not stop raving about it:
If KFC's operations team where half as good as their marketing team, the chicken crisis would never have happened. pic.twitter.com/TrhVJCuPGd— Paul Wellman (@PaulWellman_EG) February 23, 2018
Bravo, KFC! Your full page ad in the paper today is amazing! pic.twitter.com/ksURr9VxnG— Tom Campbell (@TomCampbell) February 23, 2018
Brilliant.— NMP Media (@nmpmediauk) February 23, 2018
I'm vegetarian and have no interest in KFC, but I did laugh. https://t.co/JSLNJgSRFR
It’s been a tough week for us KFC lovers. This apology advert is so good https://t.co/viifrXOUlH— Nola Marianna Ojomu (@NolaMarianna) February 23, 2018
KFC's initial excuse for its shutdown, ie "delivering chicken is complicated!" was so weak. But this apology advert is good pic.twitter.com/7dbph6IRZB— Elaine Moore (@ElaineDMoore) February 23, 2018
KFC UK's full page print ad because their restaurants have run out of Chicken to serve. What brilliance, and a genuine connect. pic.twitter.com/PCZ1MacNwE— Abhishek Upadhya (@_logik) February 23, 2018
Yo who is in charge of @KFC_UKI's marketing? This ad is clever, funny and so spot on!— Hafiz Shariff (@HafizDoc) February 23, 2018
Now ... who’s hungry?
This article has been updated to include comment from a KFC spokesperson.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.