If you take even a vague interest in the cricket, you can’t have missed KFC’s latest television ad campaign involving some people nobody’s ever heard of learning about what constitutes fun in Australia.
Turns out that’s throwing lawn bowls far too fast and bellowing indiscriminately at the cricket.
If you understand what the hell these ads are about please send your analysis through to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re like me and you’re confounded by what the ads mean or why KFC approved them, read my email to the famous fried chicken experts:
Dear Kentucky Fried Chicken,
My name’s Jonathan. You, like the rest of the world, may know me better as Haught, the digital freedom fighter/e-contrarian.
Or you may not. That’s because I’ve jumped the shark something chronic and am no longer the mega-celebrity I was in May.
What’s this got to do with the price of factory farmed chicken, you ask? Well, now that I’m not famous anymore, I’m desperately scratching around for chances to raise my profile again a la David Brent post-Wernham Hogg. And I’ve noticed recently that you’re in the business of hiring complete nobodies to take centre stage in your advertisements.
I’m referring, of course, to the ad campaign featuring unnamed, tattooed Americans doing stuff, apropos of nothing.
There’s one where for no apparent reason they’re playing lawn bowls with Michael Slater as well as various extras (many of whom are more easily identifiable than the protagonists). There’s another where the anonymous gentlemen are sitting in the crowd at one of those “cricket matches” where players compete to see who can swing themselves off their feet in the most comical manner. In this ad the pair are encouraged to scream shit, ostensibly for precisely the same reasons as people screamed shit in that famous bourbon ad which aired at the start of the year – i.e. for no reason at all.
I love these commercials because, like the very best art, they are not there to appeal to a lowest common denominator. They are works of esoterica, unashamedly designed to be totally fathomless to the lumpenproletariat. Well done to you, and to your advertising agency, for sticking your finger up in the face of philistinism.
I love these commercials so much, I want to be in them. So let me get to my point: please let me be the complete nobody at the centre of your next round of Good Times ads.
I’ve already devised some ideas:
AD 1 – The Driving Range:
I’m at the driving range with Ian Healy and various well-wishers. (Why the well-wishers are there and why they find our mundane activities so amusing is never explained. Neither is how Ian Healy and I know each other or why he’s showing me how to play golf.)
Heals awkwardly corrects my double-fisted grip and makes suggestions about my appalling stance.
Using a three wood, and inspired by the modus operandi of Big Bash batsmen, I raise my head and try to smash the dimples out of the ball. I top it and it trickles a few dozen metres. The well-wishers guffaw. One puts his hands on his knees and looks like he’s about to burst some important veins in his neck and inner arse. Another nudges a nearby “mate” and they share a knowing giggle.
Heals starts waxing physiotherapical (Ian can just ad lib here, if it’s easier). He asks how my right gastrocnemius is feeling after my pathetic first attempt to hit the ball. I ask how his vas deferens is feeling.
We immediately cut to a scene in which Heals is describing to me the advantages of a driving iron. I make it clear that I mistakenly believe he’s talking about an iron used for de-wrinkling clothes. There’s more mirth from the well-wishers. One breaks wind. Everyone says “Oooooh” in unison and there’s much chiacking.
We cut to a scene where I’m using the driving iron. I hit one flush.
Jump cut to a scene where Heals is riding me around on his back. He says “You’re quite heavy.” Everyone laughs.
Cut to a still picture of a beached whale.
Cut to a scene where it’s getting towards dusk and a ball hits a caged buggy on the driving range. You hear me say “Whoops” and Heals say “Uh-oh”. Everyone laughs.
KFC strapline. Facebook URL. Whale noise.
AD 2 – At a Test Match
I’m in the MCC Members’ at the Boxing Day Test match with “The Finger Lickers”, a group of oldies wearing KFC-branded blazers and ties.
I meet them outside the Athanaeum Club. We shake hands. I ask why I wasn’t allowed to meet them inside. One of them says “Don’t be an idiot, boy.”
Cut to the cricket. One of the elderly blokes is clearly my mentor for the day. He shows me how to drink from a thermos. I inexpertly follow his instructions, spilling some of the English Breakfast down my T-shirt. One of the men in the background hisses the word “Disgusting.” Another makes a tsking noise.
Cut to the Long Room. I pick up a piece of cutlery. The mentor bellows “FROM THE OUTSIDE IN!” The camera zooms in on me looking disconsolate. I say the word “Awesome”, but it’s unclear why.
Cut back to the cricket. One of the gentleman is running through player names for my benefit. He refers to “One of the boys from Ceylon whose name escapes me.”
Cut to one of the Finger Lickers blowing his nose with a moist towelette.
Cut to footage of Peter Siddle appealing vigorously for leg before. Cut to me asking my mentor “What do we do now?” He replies “What on earth do you mean by that?”
Cut to me trying to tie a full windsor.
KFC strapline. Facebook URL. Tsking noise.
What do you think?
Just in the interests of transparency, I should mention that in a previous life I used to mock large multinational companies by email but can assure you I no longer do this and will use social media channels to inform people of this. Feel free to send out your own communiques telling the public I have never been a cyber vigilante. I am also an MCC Member and would have to act like I don’t know how to drink from a thermos.
Looking forward to your greasy, hormone-filled reply.
Somebody Nobody Will Recognise
It’s true, I haven’t had much success in getting meaningful replies since Yarra Trams, but I have a very good feeling about this one.
Other emails I’ve sent:
My email to Yarra Trams
My email to Metro Trains
My (unsent) email to the Victorian Department of Transport
My Email to Alan Jones
My email to Kyle Sandilands
My email to Gasp Jeans
My email to Jim Beam
My email to Ben Polis
My email to Hoo haa Bar
My email to Weis ice creams
My email to some tobacco companies
My email to Margaret Court