"Canadian here. Just got a flier in the mail, the double down is coming
here next week. Never heard of it before then."
Joe had appended this brief heads-up to a piece I'd written back in July called "Tales of the Double Down: Maybe Not The Apocalypse After All," in which I was happy to report that, despite all assumptions to the contrary, it seemed as though the KFC Double Down was not "going to be singularly responsible for turning anybody who ate one into one of those quasi-human sea cows from WALL-E, riding around all day in hover chairs because our fat little baby feet and chubby, diabetic legs would be too weak to carry around our bloated bodies."You see, it appeared that Americans--in a rare example of collective wisdom and common sense--were rejecting the sandwich as just a little bit too...totally insane. And the proof was right there in the numbers.
"According to a report on CNN Money yesterday, it seems that the Double Down, while a great marketing victory for KFC and Yum! Brands (it apparently generated more "buzz" than any test market item in the history of KFC), didn't turn out to be a big seller. Second-quarter earnings for KFC showed that the Double Down represented only 5% of overall sales for KFC--and a new product really has to crack the 10% mark before it can qualify as a success. Though KFC has sold something like 10 million of the sandwiches since its release, for a company that operates nearly 40,000 locations worldwide and sells a whole fuckton of chicken ("a whole fuckton" being a totally legitimate imaginary number commonly used by statisticians and those who tracks things like fast food sales or national debt calculations), a mere 10 million sandwiches hardly even tracks."
So what is a giant, international fried chicken outfit to do when it appears that people are all willing to talk about their sandwich but not willing to actually eat it? Simple. Open new markets and start all over again from scratch.
Joe, what you're seeing is just the tip of the iceberg--the first shot in a marketing war that has already been fought to a standstill here in the States. Expect to see TV commercials, billboards, a lot of commentary in newspapers about what this single sandwich will do to the waistlines of Canadians and how it will affect the entire culture and social fabric of the country. And if you're lucky, you might even get a few of those famous KFC ass commandos--pretty college co-eds willing to have the Double Down name scrawled across their buttocks as they stroll across campuses handing out sandwiches to drooling frat boys. Just when the whole Double Down Effect was fading down here in the United States, butt advertising was able to get the KFC name back in the public consciousness all over again. And since it worked here, there's no reason to believe they won't try it again in Canada.
Of course, it being Canada, they might try something original. Like branding the logo on native beavers. And I mean the little tree-chewing animals, of course. Not, you know... The other kind.
Anyway, the "hard launch" date for the Double Down's invasion of Canada is today, Joe. So if you're curious, just head on over to your local KFC (which I didn't even know existed in Canada, but you've apparently got a whole bunch of Poulet Frit Kentucky locations to choose from) and see what all the fuss is about.
Oh, and from one proud American to one proud Canadian, you're welcome. Our chicken is your chicken, buddy. Enjoy.