KFC uses Mosquito ringtone new commercial
(New York - WABC, April 12, 2007) (WABC) -- Is it smart marketing? Or a sneaky and manipulative way to get children to eat fried junk food?
That's the debate tonight over a new campaign by Kentucky Fried Chicken. They're using a high pitched sound in their ads to target young people.
Eyewitness News Carolina Tarazona is with the sound and the fury.
Some think the new KFC ad is very cool. Others think it's clearly calling on just young people and excluding those who can't seem to hear.
Take a listen, and judge for yourself.
Can you hear that? It's right after the mom in this ad says, "Don't worry,... bucket."
Not everyone hears it and that's the point. It's a high pitched sound embedded in the ad and it's called the mosquito ringtone. Older ears have difficult time hearing it.
KFC is using it as part of a promotion. The idea is after listening to the ad, you go on KFC's website to choose where the tone appears. If you guess right, you get a ten dollar KFC gift card.
Victor Baez says he doesn't like the promotion or the idea of luring children in to eat fried food. His Grandson battles with weight.
"You know, he is kind of fat, so I don t go with that," said a concerned grandparent, Victor Baez. "I want to get away from all these fast food."
Jerry De La Famina is an ad expert. He says KFC knows what it's doing looking to make a connection between a bucket of fried chicken and fun.
"It is a kids market. They really want to reach kids. They don't have enough money to reach as many people as they want," said Jerry De La Famina. "But if they can get this buzz, people will be talking about it, just as we are, then, they did what they set out to do, they got attention."
But Laurie Schalow a spokesperson for the chicken chain told Eyewitness News, "KFC is using the ring tone in our commercial as a way to get the attention of young mothers and fathers. We found many people well into their 30's could hear the tone."
But the company who created the buzzing ringtone says it was made for kids since the ability to hear high pitch sounds diminishes when we turn 20.
Listen again, if we didn't point it out could you hear it?
A lot of us didn't and a spokesperson for Kids Be Gone as the company who created the mosquito tone says it originally took the form off an externally mounted alarm unit used to annoy kids.
This way it would deter them from graffiti, vandalism and other unacceptable behaviors in public. They say the tone isn't harmful.
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