Media Watch: What Exactly is the Subliminal Message of This KFC Commercial?

It’s just a fast-food commercial, right?

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Alex Exum's Media Watch.

Today, we're diving into the world of fast-food marketing, specifically a 2012 commercial from none other than KFC. And oh boy, what a joyous subliminal rollercoaster this one is! It appears that the ad gurus, the custodians of creativity, have been working the late shift on this project. The messaging? It’s as subtle as a frying pan to the face: "Men are swine. KFC will treat you better than any man." Let's unpack this a little further.

Advertisements, by their nature, are designed to sell. Not just products, mind you, but lifestyles, attitudes, ideals, and sometimes, even, a bit of controversial sentiment. In the grand buffet of advertising, there's an ongoing feast, where the currency is attention, and to get that, sometimes the ad industry plays with our subconscious, or even cultural norms and taboos.

In this KFC commercial, we're presented with a narrative, where the men in the lives of the women featured are consistently failing to meet expectations. Forgotten birthdays, miscommunication, the archetypical "not listening" – in short, all the classic rom-com sins are on display. Following these disappointments, our heroines find solace, understanding, and oddly enough, a bucket of the Colonel’s finest.

The clever (or manipulative, depending on your viewpoint) play here is how KFC positions itself as a comforting refuge from these flawed relationships. KFC becomes the non-judgmental friend who understands your cravings, the one who shows up with a warm meal after a hard day – who cares about you. In essence, KFC is saying it will treat you better than the men in your life.

"But wait!" I hear some of you cry. "It’s just a fast-food commercial, right?" In truth, it's much more than that. This isn't just about selling chicken; it's about selling an idea. A notion that KFC can fill a void left by an unfulfilling relationship. It's a narrative not new to advertising, but it's nonetheless interesting to see it used in the context of fast food.

It's the age-old question:

Who needs men when you've got a comforting bucket of KFC at your side? While this narrative may seem humorous, even absurd, it's essential to recognize the power these messages hold. By continually associating comfort, understanding, and satisfaction with their product, KFC is attempting to create a subconscious connection in the minds of the viewers – fast food as a solution to emotional turmoil.

Now, this is not to say that men are inherently "swine" or that all relationships are doomed to fail. It's crucial to remember that advertisements are a slice of fiction, built to entertain, persuade, and ultimately sell a product. They tap into relatable situations and emotions to resonate with their audience. It's the advertisers' job, after all, to make you want what they're selling.

Yet, it's equally important for us, as consumers, to maintain a critical eye. To separate the product from the cleverly crafted narratives and the emotionally charged imagery. Yes, even when it comes to fast food commercials. We must remember that it's not KFC, or any other brand for that matter, that's going to lend a listening ear or provide emotional support.

So, at the end of the day, as we stand at the counter of our local KFC, let's just remember – it's chicken, folks, not a therapy session.

Keep your eyes peeled and your minds sharp!

Until next time,

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