Several months ago, the powers that be decided that the Kentucky Fried Chicken near my home on Chapman Highway was apparently too dirty to clean or too dilapidated to bother fixing, so they tore it down and built a new one.
The building was at best, pretty much unremarkable. After it was torn down, I would drive by and think to myself “wasn’t there a building there.” Eventually a “KFC Coming Soon” sign appeared and I realized what was underway. In the fashion of building construction these days, the new KFC was up and functioning in what seemed like about two short months. Just shy of completion, the signage went up.
The Colonel’s Chicken Shack has been long suffering from what could honestly be called an identity crisis. Firstly, the identity is tied to an antiquated “Southern Gentleman” (which is about as un-cool as it gets) and secondly, the word “fried” reminds us too much of how unhealthy the specialty-of-the-house is. Eventually the Colonel himself got broken down into a cartoon and placed in some pretty embarrassing commercials. More famously, Kentucky Fried Chicken started going by its initials.
I’m not sure any of this had anything to do with the new signage… but I like to imagine two marketing experts arguing for days over what to call it: Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC. Until finally they said “Screw it, we won’t call it anything.”
I, for the record, am really turned off by the creepy illustration of Colonel Sanders, but I find it really interesting that the company decided they had enough equity in the “Colonel Sanders” brand that they did not need to show their own name anywhere that’s obvious. The little black awnings have words like “hungry?” and “Welcome” written in a script font. The company colors of bright red and black are unmistakable. And of course, there’s the Colonel. But thats it. No text. No “sign”.
Amazingly, and interestingly enough, that’s really all that’s needed.