BrandIndex's data about KFC's Double Down" used on QSRWeb and Reuters

Will negative buzz mean more sales for KFC Double Down?

Christa Hoyland

12 Apr 2010 [EXCERPT]

How often is it that a new product launch reaches an unprecented level of infamy well before its national debut? Not often, especially at KFC, which usually stays tight-lipped until its national advertising is in place.
But word got out last summer about the Double Down, a sandwich that features two boneless filets in place of a bun, and health advocates have been squawking about it ever since. But even though it's negative attention, the company is apparently lapping it up. In an e-mail club alert, the company boasted about how much attention the sandwich received in the weeks before its launch.
From late-night talk shows and national news networks to social media sites and blog postings, all of America is buzzing about the Double Down, which is becoming one of the most anticipated new products in KFC history.
The buzz has continued to trend downward as word of the product launch spread. YouGov's BrandIndex found that KFC's buzz score among adults 18 - 34 has fallen almost nine points since March 1. KFC's buzz score fell from 15.8 to 7 as of April 9, falling below the Top QSR Sector average on March 24 with a score of 12.1 as comments grew increasingly negative.


Is KFC’s Double Down a double whammy?

Apr 20, 2010 18:03 EDT

KFC’s new, artery-choking Double Down sandwich is getting lots of media buzz — but is it helping the brand?

The breadless “sandwich” is just the latest in a long line of decadent dishes from fast-food chains. It features bacon, cheese and “the Colonel’s” special sauce sandwiched between two boneless grilled or fried chicken filets. It’s a low-carb dream but a healthy eater’s nightmare as it is loaded with calories, salt and fat.

The Double Down landed in stores on April 12, about a year after the company introduced healthier grilled chicken nationwide. Its debut has nutritionists calling foul and served as fodder for late night jokes, food blogs — including those run by CNN, the Los Angeles Times and Consumerist — and all those guys who make videos of people eating the latest headline-grabbing fast food.

But according YouGov BrandIndex, which does daily consumer perception research on brands, the Double Down has helped erase all of the perception gains KFC won with the launch of its healthier grilled chicken.

KFC’s “buzz score” levels had been steadily declining for the past month, leading up to the Double Down’s debut last week, YouGov said. Such scores can range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.

KFC’s buzz score, which fell as low as 11.5 on the day of the Double Down debut, was 24.4 on March 1 and is currently trending around 14.


YouGov BrandIndex interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative US population sample and margin of error is +/- 2 percent. YouGov asks participants this question: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, was it positive or negative?”

(Reuters photo; graphic courtesy of YouGov BrandIndex)