Updated: Nov 17, 2020
On 1 November, one of the most famous mustachioed spokesmen Colonel Sanders, decided to raise awareness for the Movember movement by shaving on day one.
KFC France replaced its famous logo with a shaved one on all its media for one day, inviting KFC fans to be part of the Movember initiative. If you didn't know Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide. It's a cause that brings an important topic to the social calendar to hopefully educate the masses about it while having some light-hearted fun.
It's a quick and easy stunt that will certainly grab your attention for 3 minutes while you stare at Colonel Sanders' face to see what is different - did he get new glasses, lose weight or get a new bow tie?
Once you realise he's chopped his mustache and goatee off you can't unsee it - I'll give you a minute to Google what the original logo looks like again.
What I really liked about this stunt is that a legacy brand and the team behind keeping it clean, consistent, and relevant were not scared to mess with the logo. In many camps that's simply a no-no. The logo is the only thing we truly own and we must never touch it, tamper with it or change it in any way.
Many brands don't even own a logo - they just have a wordmark. Their brand name in a nice font. We have that here at BrandChief and so do Amazon and Google. And the same fear exists within these wordmark only brands - you can't change the font, character spacing, colour, and you can't even put it on a different background or have it too close to anything else.
Most people are protective of their logo. Even for charity. And even for money.
KFC have thrown that rule in the bin here and gave their logo a clean shave for Movember which is something they can uniquely do. McDonalds have all but disowned Ronald, and Burger King have a logo that's a burger. BK do have their mascot like McDonalds who sports a great beard who can also join in the movement.
They did do it in the past by trimming the mascots beard but have never gone bald. Their also the brand that are known to have a really creative and spontaneous marketing department so I wouldn't put it past them to jump on the bandwagon here. Because that's what it'll be, jumping on the bandwagon but if it's in the name of raising awareness for an important cause then it should be welcomed.
This does however touch on to the topic of brands using social issues to raise awareness for themselves (from a stunt) rather than the issue at hand. A key differentiator to keep your brand authentic to the occasion is to invest or allocate resources to the cause. Unfortunately though it seems that, publicly at least, KFC haven't announced any investment in staff education or charitable donations to support Movember. Somebody must of brought it up at some point in the planning process, yet nothing's been announced. What do you think about that?