Could potholes be the new billboards? Kentucky Fried Chicken is hoping so with a new marketing and urban renewal program. Last week, as part of the chicken chain's "Fresh Tastes Best" campaign, KFC filled potholes as a private sponsor in Louisville, KY — spray-painting each repair with a stenciled memo: "Re-Freshed by KFC."
The fast food company, which estimates that there are more than 350 million potholes nationwide, wants four more cities to be a part of the campaign and has sent letters to various mayors, offering to patch potholes gratis.
KFC would not comment on how much it will cost the company to fill potholes in five cities. From Starbucks giving free coffee for community service to Kellogg's donating its Michael Phelps cereal boxes to a food bank, companies seem to be focused on marketing their brands next to a good cause.
I'm on the fence about this new campaign. Sure, it couldn't come at a better time for budget-strapped cities that desperately need repair. But on the other hand, I see it as yet another visual space being exploited for marketing purposes. Plus, there are other logistical matters that need to be accounted for — such as what materials are being used, how long KFC would be accountable for the potholes they've fixed, and, of course, the issue of those hideous spray-painted logos. What do you think of the campaign? Are potholes a great cause for KFC to get behind, or is it corporate sponsorship at its worst?