Regular Twitter users with a penchant for fast food may remember a rather unusual stunt pulled by KFC back in November 2018. Colonel Sanders was never known for producing the best chips in the game. But, knowing that chicken connoisseurs the land over weren’t cruising to the drive-through with fries on their mind, it decided to switch the recipe up.
This being the 21st century, it wasn’t enough to just quietly toil away on a new type of chip experience. No. The team at KFC decided to start paying to promote tweets which didn’t present its potato-based offering in the best light, presumably to ensure that those of us who sit zombie-like scrolling up and down the timeline built up the necessary appetite to head to the nearest branch of the restaurant before gorging on the newly delivered batch of chips.
Danish brewing big boys Carlsberg have taken a leaf out of the Colonel’s deep-fried book, spending much of the last week retweeting comments about the lager which compared it to bath water amongst other things. This, obviously, for a drink that’s always sold itself as “probably the best beer in the world,” is not a good look.
Social media cynics assumed – rightly as it turns out – that this wave of self-hatred was merely a clever ploy to whip up a bit of publicity around something or other.
Lo and behold, today’s copy of Metro features a big splashy advert for the Scandinavian amber nectar. Admitting that Carlsberg is probably not the best beer in the world, the ad states that, “Somewhere along the line, we lost our way. We focused on brewing quality, not quantity. We become one of the cheapest, not the best.”
With that in mind, Carlsberg knew what was needed. “We had to create a better beer,” the advert says. “A new Carlsberg, that’s been completely rebrewed from head to hop.”
Whether the new Carlsberg tastes any different is yet to be seen, but the campaign does mark the latest example of an intriguing development in contemporary advertising: accept faults, amplify negative opinions, and then redeem yourself. Hopefully.