Double Down? I think I’ll split

April 22, 2010

Does this thing look even remotely appealing to you?

This little novelty “sandwich,” the Double Down from KFC, consists of bacon and cheese slapped between two slabs of fried or grilled chicken. Bun you ask? Nope – your chicken serves as the outer lining of this little morsel.

I don’t have any problems with the ingredients, but the whole thing simultaneously confuses me and makes me gag just a little. I guess in theory I’m OK with touching the chicken I’m about to eat … after all, it’s no different from touching bread or a bun. But I digress.

It seems the novelty of the Double Down isn’t quite panning out the way KFC probably hoped it would. The chain began marketing its healthy offerings with the launch of a new grilled chicken sandwich last year. And it hit marketing buzz paydirt according to YouGov BrandIndex scores dating back to the beginning of 2009. But an article in Brandweek says the new Double Down is only creating buzzkill for KFC. The new sandwich (seriously, I’m having trouble calling it a sandwich!) is pecking away at any positive brand buzz the chain gained from the much healthier alternative introduced only nine months ago.

The Double Down is an example of a company spending tons of marketing dollars against an extremely questionable product that is either:

  • not tested enough to realize consumers aren’t going to go crazy for it;
  • counterintuitive to a society that says it wants healthier alternatives, or
  • simply disgusting

 After all the money spent on the litany of ad time and space devoted to launching the Double Down, does that mean this is just KFC’s attempt to boost short-term sales on a product that can’t possibly last longer than the McDLT? We’ll see.

Personally, I’m no fan of KFC in general – I will have no trouble resisting this Frankensandwich. To be honest, I avoid fast food chicken almost entirely … I’m just never sure what I’m going to find. One bad experience in college with a McChicken Sandwich turned me off forever (I’ll spare you the details). For my money, and it seems many others’ as well, this Double Down may turn out to be a big bust.

 If you’ve tried the Double Down, did you like it? And what the **** convinced you to get it in the first place?