Yum! Brands has pulled a Barack Obama look-alike commercial that was being used in KFC television ads to promote a new Fish Fillet sandwich in China and Hong Kong. The company has claimed 'no foul' saying it was meant as a spoof of the president.
Obama Foodorama reported this week that Yum! Brands was running an advertisement featuring an Obama impersonator in its Asian market extolling the virtues of its newly unveiled soft roll fish sandwich.
"The ad campaign was complete with the President's "change" election campaign slogan being put to use as a tagline: "Mmmm, change is good!," the faux President Obama said onscreen in two different versions of the ad, his mouth stuffed with the sandwich. He was also back dropped by a flag with the word "change" on it. A huge sandwich drops on the President during the video, to the delight of the flag-waving American audience as the announcer describes the 11 herbs and spices," reports ObamaFoodorama.
The website shared an email from Yum! Brands spokesman Ben Golden which said:
"It is no longer airing and will not be re-aired. It was meant to be a spoof and no disrespect was intended. Golden added "the videos (short version) were created specifically for the Hong Kong market, and aired only in Hong Kong. In a second longer version of the ad, the President was shown at a "campaign rally" for the sandwich, complete with American-flag waving fans holding signs that read "change." The faux president also repeated the Mmmm phrase, adding "Change--not only for America but for the whole world. Not only for your Mom, but for you, for your stomach, for a better taste!"
Yum! Brands, a Louisville, KY, global fast food corporation, which owns many restaurant franchises including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, posted higher than expected quarterly earnings yesterday, according to Bloomberg's Business Week. "It gets a third of its revenue from China, where it operates more than 3,700 restaurants, mostly KFC outlets," said a MSNBC blog.
According to Bloomberg Markets, KFC is far more popular than McDonald's in China, and the image of Colonel Sanders is more prevalent than that of Mao, reports the ObamaFoodorama blogspot. The image of Colonel Sanders reportedly smiles down on Tiananmen Square.
Bloomberg reports: "The secret to the success of KFC’s parent company can be traced to its use of local ingredients -- both in its management team and on its menus. In the 24 years it has been operating in China, Yum! Brands has hired Chinese managers to build partnerships with local companies in its expansion drive and used their expertise to offer an array of regional dishes that appeal to domestic tastes."