Earlier today I read an article today (original post here) about a KFC ad that some are finding offensive. I’m not going to comment on whether the ad is racist/insensitive/offensive, that’s another debate. But one thing the ad does bring into focus here is the impact of social media on global advertising.
This ad was created for a specific market and was only intended for said market. However, the speed of information is shockingly fast, and the ad was posted on YouTube. Maybe the agency and/or client didn’t take social media or the global reach into account, but it’s increasingly clear that that is something that absolutely must be done in this day and age. Ad campaigns are no longer regional. Of course, you can and should account for specific regions and audiences when creating a campaign, and cater to those audiences and regions…but you can no longer assume that it will stay regional. No, if anything is out there for one person to see, you can pretty much assume it’s out there for everyone to see.
Now I’m sure the agency/client specifically created this ad for Australia and not the US, and may even have had conversations about how this ad may or may not be appropriate in particular areas, but did they think that it would spread and create such a commotion? Probably not. The point here is that you must take social media and word of mouth into account even if that is not the tool you are utilizing. If you put something out there it WILL end up online and a new market of people WILL see it. It may be a benefit…or it may be a detriment. At the very least, you should prepare for every possible outcome that your campaign can create.
Everything is global. Everything is social.
You can view the ad in question below (which has now been pulled from rotation):
*This post was originally posted on JPeters1221’s Posterous.