About a month ago, KFC ran an experimental commercial designed to be viewed only by DVR owners; the spot contained a single frame of a code word entitling viewers to get a coupon for a free chicken sandwich. Now, KFC is claiming that the ad (which ABC actually banned as subliminal advertising) was a success, pointing out that over 100,000 people snagged the coupons, and traffic to KFC's web site surged by 40% the week after the ad ran. Of course, it's possible that about 99,999 of those people actually heard about the ad on the internets, rather than via their DVRs, but we think a more likely scenario is that the ad's subliminal message attracted a broad swath of non-DVR viewers, who had an uncontrollable compulsion to rush to their PCs, go to KFC's web site and squawk like a chicken -- that last part being a hidden directive that we hear was included in the commercial to prove the power of such advertising.
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