Did the KFC secret code spot connect?

Under the weak headline "KFC Seems to Win Game of Chicken," The Wall Street Journal has published a story about the results of that KFC ad (it’s free content) that contained the secret code so crazily subliminal that ABC dare not run it. (Unless you hang out with the Slowskys, you probably know of what we speak; those with the temerity to pause their TiVos, or read AdFreak to reveal the secret code, could then email KFC to get a coupon redeemable for an entire free sandwich.) According to KFC, about 103,000 people redeemed a coupon, and traffic to KFC.com increased by 40 percent over the site’s normal traffic, to 2.75 million page views. Naturally, KFC has positioned this as a success, and we’re not saying—necessarily—that it wasn’t. However, consider that the spot ran during primetime programming, garnered approximately 250 mentions in the media and that the code itself was widely publicized—you might see why we’re being a bit skeptical about the effort’s success. Anyone else care to weigh in on this important matter of our time?

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor