Kentucky Fried Chicken, the purveyor of America's one and only chicken sandwich where chicken serves as the bread, was looking for new ways to advertise the fast food giant's "New Fiery Grilled Wings."
Looking to go above and beyond the usual routes of commercials and billboards, KFC imagined a guerrilla campaign to draw the public's eye.
The targets? Some of the poorest cities in America. Municipalities who couldn't say no to some desperately needed cash.
All they would have to do in return would be to let KFC decorate city fire hydrants.
Yes, KFC, in a stroke of synergy that could only be arrived at from a conference-room meeting, wanted to advertise on fire hydrants because... yep, their wings are spicy.
They made the offer to four cities: Buffalo, San Antonio, Brazil (Indiana), and Cleveland.
So far only Brazil sold out their fire hydrant real estate for a couple thousand bucks, but Buffalo is said to be reconsidering.
Cleveland just said no to the campaign but did take KFC's monetary donations.
However, Buffalo, birthplace of the spicy wing, is having second thoughts about turning down the deal. The city is now considering a compromise. It's proposing that KFC purchase give Buffalo $2,500 to buy 100 new fire extinguishers, all of which would be emblazoned with the Fiery Wings logo.
Some in the Buffalo city government aren't too thrilled with the idea.
"We would be endorsing KFC's wings for what amounts to chicken feed," said the City Council Finance Committee Chairman.
"There's the tackiness factor," adds another Council Member. "You're promoting a product on safety equipment."
The money from KFC is explicitly earmarked to be given to fire safety and prevention measures. The publicity however...
A spokeswoman for KFC insisted that the program, which was ramped up in January, focuses more on helping communities than on promoting its wings.
“This is all tied to fire prevention,” said Laurie Schalow, who works in the Public Relations Department of the Louisville, Ky., company.
And it has nothing to do with chicken. Nothing.