Just because we’re all getting vaccinated and can faintly make out a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel does not mean we can just go back to licking our fingers willy-nilly. I don’t care if they’re covered in chocolate or caramel or luscious, golden chicken grease—you keep those fingers out of your mouth until we get the all-clear from the NIH, the CDC, or KFC. The latter has been especially anxious to get us all back to sucking on our tasty, tasty fingers, particularly in the U.K. where, just weeks before coronavirus shut down the world, it launched this multi-million dollar ad campaign:
Even if you were never much for finger licking before, if you weren’t at least considering it after watching that 60-second spot, you might be dead inside. This sensual ad did such a good at titillating Brits, the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 163 complaints from concerned citizens; eventually the ad was pulled, and finger licking—which KFC has been promoting since the early 1950s—officially became taboo.
So what’s a brand to do when the crux of its corporate identity has become synonymous with disease? Sure, it could develop a brand-new slogan, but that would be arduous and expensive, and there’s no guarantee that it won’t also be associated with a lethal virus by the time it’s finally ready to roll. For the sake of efficiency, medical liability, and general cheekiness, the best possible move is to steal other companies’ branding and cross your chicken fingers as hard as you can.
As always the good people of Twitter rose to the occasion with aplomb, volunteering such brilliant new slogans like “KFC Gives You Wings” and “KFC: Ask Me About My Butthole.” The company was so tickled by a suggestion to borrow Nike’s slogan, it parked a “KFC: Just Do It” digital ad van outside of a Nike store in London. While in America this sort of good clean fun would immediately be taken to court by bloodsucking lawyers, the British still enjoy a good joke, and many companies are freely volunteering what I think might their slogans to help KFC through this extremely difficult time. Though I’m 99% sure they speak English in England, I have no idea what any of this means: