KFC Australia urges consumers to “Ditch the Device and ‘Stop and Smell the Chicken'”

February 27, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

KFC Australia is urging consumers to take a minute to appreciate your co-workers, spend quality time with your family and most of all – put down your mobile devices during dinner in their new ads that suggest it’s time to “Stop and Smell the Chicken.”

The current campaign implies that many people don’t take enough time out to appreciate life’s everyday moments. Part of the problem, according to a survey of 1,055 Australians, is that many people are too technologically connected.

67 percent of those surveyed admitted to being distracted by personal devices at mealtime, while 73 percent expressed frustration with friends or family checking such devices during meals. KFC RGMs have noticed both in their restaurants, prompting the campaign.

“It’s not uncommon for us to see customers using personal devices in KFC restaurants when they’re sitting by themselves, but what’s surprising is we often see groups of people buy a meal together then not speak to each other as they’re too busy with their phones and tablets,” said KFC SOPAC, Chief Marketing and Development Officer Nikki Lawson. One in four people surveyed admitted spending five minutes or more per meal using personal devices – that’s at least 5,460 minutes spent on phones at mealtime every year.

To help Australians connect with each other in person, KFC is offering Mobile Collection Buckets at its Northmead restaurant from Feb. 25 to March 3, encouraging customers to ditch their devices and start a face-to-face conversation. The brand has also issued a challenge to Australian technology guru and TV, radio and internet commentator Trevor Long: spend a week without technology while eating with family and friends. Long says he’s up for it.

“I can imagine the challenge will be quite difficult, given my career requires me to regularly engage with the best technology has to offer,” said Long. “Most of my family meals are spent with everyone having some kind of gadget in their hands, but I’ve realized that while I might be connecting with people online, I’m missing a great opportunity to connect with the people that I’m sharing a meal with.”

Check out the commercials below – but not at mealtime, of course!